Public Policy Expert Selected for Distinguished Emerging Education Policy Scholars Program

By Tom McLaughlin

Building on his burgeoning reputation as a public policy expert, Michael Hayes, an assistant professor of public policy and administration at Rutgers University–Camden, has been selected as a member of the 2016-17 class of the Emerging Education Policy Scholars (EEPS) program.

Michael Hayes

Offered jointly by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and the American Enterprise Institute, the program brings together emerging education policy researchers twice a year to explore possible future research collaborations with each other and education policymakers.

“It is a true honor to have been selected for the sixth cohort of the Emerging Education Policy Scholars program,” says Hayes. “In addition to meeting with key players in the education-policy arena, I look forward to networking with my fellow scholars to plan future research collaborations. As a young scholar, it is important for me to utilize these opportunities to build my network and learn new ways to disseminate my research to different audiences.”

In addition to his main role as a “listener,” notes Hayes, he plans to share his future research ideas in order to receive feedback and identify promising projects, as well as offer his own feedback in order to assist others who are hoping to find their next research project.

The Rutgers–Camden researcher also plans to offer new policy ideas related to his recent research projects on summer learning loss and education finance. He recently coauthored a forthcoming article in the American Journal of Education on the summer learning of exceptional students. As he explains, exceptional students are defined as students who are English language learners or who have an individualized education plan. The main research finding is that the well-documented “summer learning loss” of low-income students in reading appears to be entirely driven by lower summer learning rates of low-income exceptional learners.

“With our finding, education policymakers might be able to reduce the achievement gap between mainstream and exceptional students by investing in and targeting high-quality summer programs geared towards low-income exceptional students,” says Hayes, adding, “Being able to speak directly to education policymakers about my policy and research ideas is going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

The EEPS program will convene for the first time on Jan. 12 and 13 in Washington, D.C. According to Hayes, a major topic for the first meeting will be the Trump transition and future education reform. Multiple panelists are expected to discuss key education policy goals under the new administration, as well as conduct roundtables on how the new administration can utilize recent research to make effective education policy changes.

A Philadelphia resident, Hayes earned a Ph.D. in public administration and policy and a master’s degree in public administration from American University, as well as bachelor’s degrees in economics and political science from Towson University.

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