February 2018 – Drew University Professor Patrick McGuinn is among just a handful of scholars participating in a new policy fellowship at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government.
McGuinn has taught political science at Drew since 2005 and is nationally known as an expert on education policy. In addition, he’s a visiting scholar at Teachers College, Columbia University for the 2017-18 academic year. He’s currently developing a book about federal attempts to address educational disparities and inequality through initiatives like No Child Left Behind and the Every Student Succeeds Act.
The Rockefeller fellowship, which spans 2018, overlaps with the professor’s sabbatical and return to teaching in September. The institute is providing McGuinn with resources and support in conducting and disseminating his research. Also, McGuinn is exchanging ideas with the “intellectual community” of fellows, researchers and other staff at the think tank.
Affiliated with the State University of New York, the non-partisan institute aims to apply scholarly research to practical policy making, said President Jim Malatras. “We are evidence-based and solutions-based—let the chips fall where they may,” Malatras said. “What I really like about Dr. McGuinn is that he is preeminent on school accountability and reform.”
This is the inaugural year of the fellowship program. Candidates with expertise in areas such as health, education, economics and law applied and just five fellows were selected. Most fellows are focusing on issues specific to New York State, but McGuinn’s research will more broadly involve the intersection of politics, governance and public policy in K-12 and higher education.
McGuinn writes and speaks extensively on education and is among the top 20 scholars in the U.S. whose work is most often assigned in college classes, as ranked by the American Enterprise Institute. “Academics often are criticized for being locked in the Ivory Tower and disconnected from what is happening out in the ‘real world,’” McGuinn said. “I regularly engage with public policy makers and practitioners in the field and I think that makes me a more effective researcher and teacher.”