Bio


David Plank was the Executive Director of PACE for 11 years, and has recently retired, now serving as a Senior Advisor to PACE. Before joining PACE in January 2007, David N. Plank was a Professor at Michigan State University, where he founded and directed the Education Policy Center. He was previously on the faculties at the University of Pittsburgh and at the University of Texas at Dallas, where he taught courses and conducted research in the areas of educational finance and policy. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1983. Plank is the author or editor of six books, including the AERA Handbook of Education Policy Research. He has published widely in a number of different fields, including economics of education, history of education, and educational policy. His current interests include the role of the State in education, and the relationship between academic research and public policy. In addition to his work in the United States, Plank has extensive international experience. He has served as a consultant to international organizations including the World Bank, the United Nations Development Program, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United States Agency for International Development, the Ford Foundation, and also to governments in Africa and Latin America.

Academic Appointments


Administrative Appointments


  • Senior Advisor, Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) (2019 - Present)
  • Co-Director, Lemann Center for Educational Entrepreneurialism and Innovation in Brazil (2011 - Present)
  • Professor (Research), Stanford Graduate School of Education (2009 - 2019)
  • Executive Director, Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) (2007 - 2018)

Professional Education


  • B.A., Oberlin College (1976)
  • M.A., University of Chicago (1979)
  • Ph.D., University of Chicago (1983)

Research Interests


  • Educational Policy
  • International and Comparative Education
  • School Reform
  • Sociology

Stanford Advisees


  • Doctoral Dissertation Co-Advisor (AC)
    Filipe Recch
  • Doctoral (Program)
    Filipe Recch