Dear Readers,

We have referenced the work of Richard Phelps of the Non-Partisan Education Review in the past (see here and here). His work is critical to our discussion because it sheds light on studies and data that have been blocked from the public debate on education policy by influential groups with their own agenda, one which would be seriously called into question if this information had a wider audience. Today we are excited to introduce Mr. Phelps as a contributor to Missouri Education Watchdog, one we are sure you are going to appreciate reading in the future.

A St. Louis native, Richard grew up near where the Frisco Route main line crossed over Route 66, and attended Bishop DuBourg High School and Washington University. He has held administrative and research positions at every level in the education “industry”: local (D.C. Public Schools); state (Indiana); federal (U.S. GAO and various federal contractors); and international (OECD). All along, he noticed a tendency for those in power, regardless of political affiliation, to hide or misrepresent the facts, sometimes under the cover of “the research” in the field, placate the powers that be, and disregard the public’s right to know. 

In the mid-1990s, along with some other persons familiar to our readership, he founded the Nonpartisan Education Review, an education policy journal for those unaligned with any vested interest or political party. In its own words, the Review “provides a forum for those interested in education issues but put off by the closed and censorial education policy groups affiliated with the political parties. We aim to make a difference by remaining non-aligned and non-partisan. Learn more about us and read the Nonpartisan Education Review® (ISSN 2150-6477), our peer-reviewed, open access electronic journal.”

Richard P. Phelps is founder of the Nonpartisan Education Group, editor of theNonpartisan Education Review, a Fulbright Scholar, and fellow of the Psychophysics Laboratory. He has authored, or edited and co-authored Correcting Fallacies about Educational and Psychological Testing (APA); Standardized Testing Primer (Peter Lang); Defending Standardized Testing (Psychology Press); Kill the Messenger (Transaction), and several statistical compendia. Phelps has worked with several test development organizations, including ACT, AIR, ETS, the OECD, Pearson, and Westat. He holds degrees from Washington, Indiana, and Harvard Universities, and a PhD in Public Policy from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

Anne Gassel

Anne has been writing on MEW since 2012 and has been a citizen lobbyist on Common Core since 2013. Some day she would like to see a national Hippocratic oath for educators “I will remember that there is an art to teaching as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy and understanding are sometimes more important than policy or what the data say. My first priority is to do no harm to the children entrusted to my temporary care.”

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