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Aug. 9, 2004

U-M offers experts for back-to-school stories

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—The University of Michigan has many experts who can discuss back-to-school issues and education-related trends. Experts and topics include:

Why are fewer and fewer young people reading?

• Anne Ruggles Gere, professor of education and English, is one of the nation’s foremost scholars on literacy and the art of writing. She’s also focused on the mismatch between populations in teacher education and those in public schools. She can be reached at (734) 647-1259 or

For more on Gere, visit:

• Elizabeth Moje, the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor and an associate education professor, specializes in the social literacy of students, reading habits of marginalized students and social-cultural perspectives on secondary literacy. She can be reached at (734) 647-9571 or

For more on Moje, visit:

How is the No Child Left Behind plan working?

• Susan Neuman is back at U-M after serving two years as U.S. assistant secretary of elementary and secondary education in charge of implementing No Child Left Behind. She is a professor of educational studies, directed the Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement and has done extensive research on early childhood policy and curriculum. She can be reached at (734) 647-6940 or (734) 615-4655 or

For more on Neuman, visit:

Hand-held computers in K-12, technology in education

• Elliott Soloway, professor of electrical engineering and computer science with appointments in engineering and the School of Education, researches the use of technology in education and the development of software that better serves learners and is principal investigator for the Center for Learning Technologies in Urban Schools. He can be reached at (734) 936-1562 or

For more on Soloway, visit:

The achievement gap and education issues for urban students

• Percy Bates, professor in the School of Education and director of Programs for Education Opportunity, is an expert in minority education issues and public school desegregation issues related to equity in the areas of race, gender and national origin. He has also done research on the recruitment of minorities and women in the workplace and effective retention plans. He can be reached at (734) 763-9910 or (734) 665-8341 or email at

Standardized tests, learning disabilities

• Karen Wixson, dean of the School of Education, has been a long-time consultant to the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). She recently served as co-director and principal investigator for the U.S. Department of Education's Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement (CIERA). She can be reached at (734)764-9470 or

For more on Wixson, visit:

Academic red-shirting, factors predicting school readiness, early literacy

• Frederick Morrison, a professor in psychology and education at U-M, is one of the nation’s top experts on early childhood readiness for school including reading disabilities and early development issues. He is also a senior research scientist for U-M’s Center for Human Growth and Development. He can be reached at (734) 763-2214 or email at

For more about Morrison;

How did we get here? The history of education reform

• Maris Vinovskis, the University's Bentley Professor of History who advised the U.S. Education Department during three presidential administrations, has studied the history of federal involvement with education dating back to the 1960s. Vinovskis, who is also a professor in the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy and the Center for Political Studies, has worked on education issues for both Democratic and Republican administrations in Washington. He is available to speak with reporters on federal efforts to improve education and the history of education reform. He can be reached at (734) 763-3407 or e-mail him at

For more on Vinovskis, visit:

Detroit perspective: Where urban education has been, where it’s going

• Stuart Rankin, an education professor who spent 37 years as a top administrator for the Detroit Public Schools, works with people who are going back to school to seek new skills so they can change careers and has done extensive research on curriculum. He is one of the program coordinators for a one-year crash course helping adults earn a master's degree with certification and training so they can become teachers. He works directly with schools in Detroit and can address most issues impacting urban education. He can be reached at (734) 647-4723 or

For more on Rankin, visit:


Contact: Joe Serwach
Phone: (734) 647-1844