Gardner Center gets new faculty director

From left: Amy Gerstein and Prudence Carter (Photo by Chris Wesselman)

Education Professor PRUDENCE CARTER will become the new faculty director of the John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities, effective Sept. 1.

The Gardner Center partners with communities locally and nationwide to develop leadership, conduct research and effect change to improve the lives of youth.

“What draws me to this center is its focus on understanding how communities as a whole, rather than individual institutions, can come together to support their youth to develop into productive adulthood,” said Carter, who also is a professor, by courtesy, of sociology. “The center’s mission dovetails perfectly with my commitment to advancing the prospects for our youth by building an ecology of support for them in and out of school.”

Carter has gained international renown for her efforts to develop evidence-based policies that support children and youth. As co-editor of the new book Closing the Opportunity Gap: What America Must Do to Give Every Child an Even Chance (Oxford University Press), Carter has helped to reframe the achievement gap to be thought of, instead, as the opportunity gap. She presents concrete, detailed policies for bridging this gap, which arises from broader social problems than just school performance.

Prior to the Gardner Center appointment, Carter was co-director of the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education (SCOPE). She will remain a faculty affiliate of SCOPE.

“The Gardner Center could not be more pleased about Prudence’s appointment as our new faculty director,” said the center’s executive director, AMY GERSTEIN. “Prudence brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise, and brings us closer to the faculty and students at the heart of the Graduate School of Education.”

The center was founded at Stanford’s education school in 2001 by MILBREY McLAUGHLIN, professor emerita of education, who worked closely with activist and innovator John W. Gardner, who died in 2002, to launch it. Carter succeeds McLaughlin as faculty director.

“Under Milbrey’s direction, the Gardner Center has become more than just a research powerhouse,” said Claude Steele, dean of the Graduate School of Education (GSE). “It has offered a new model for how university research can effect change, and has made better the lives of youth. I am looking forward to Prudence’s continuing the center’s reputation for excellence.”

Read the full announcement on the GSE website.

NANCY MANCINI,  John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities