Profile picture of David Conley

David Conley

Director, Center for Educational Policy Research
College of Education
Phone: 541-915-2832
Office: 215 Lokey Education Bldg
Research Interests: assessment,college-and-career-readiness,policy


**Professor Conley is retired and not accepting graduate students.**

Before entering higher education in 1989, Dr. Conley spent 20 years in the public school system in a variety of roles including teacher and co-director of two public alternative schools, a site and central-office administrator, and an executive in a state education agency. He is a first-generation college attendee who received his AA from Cabrillo College, his BA (with honors) from the University of California, Berkeley, and his MA and PhD from the University of Colorado, Boulder. He grew up on the central coast of California where he spent a great deal of time at the beach. He currently resides in Portland, Oregon, where he is the founder and principal partner of EdImagine, an educational strategy consulting group.


Ph.D., 1986, University of Colorado, Boulder
Major:  Curriculum, Administration and Supervision
M.A., 1983, University of Colorado, Boulder
Major:  Social/Multicultural/Bilingual Foundations of Education
B.A., 1972, University of California, Berkeley
Major:  Social Sciences
A.A., 1968, Cabrillo College
Program: BA Transfer

Honors and Awards

2012  Fund for Faculty Excellence Award, University of Oregon

2012  Innovation Award, Eugene Annual Emerald Awards, Presented by the Eugene Chamber of Commerce 

2008  Innovations in Research Award, University of Oregon 

1998  Travel Award, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia for visiting scholar appointment 

1992  Outstanding Presentation, Division H, American Educational Research Association annual convention, San Francisco, Strategic planning in America’s schools: An exploratory study. 

1992-93  Scholarly and Creative Development Award, Office of the Provost, University of Oregon, Perceptions of House Bill 3565.


Conley, D. T. (2019). The promise of next generation systems of assessments. School Administrator. 5(76), 16-22.

Conley, D. T. (2018). The promise and practice of next generation assessment. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press. 

Conley, D. T. (2017). The new complexity of readiness for college and careers. In K. L. McClarty, K. D. Mattern, & M. N. Gaertner (Eds.), Preparing students for college and careers: Theory, measurement, and educational practice. National Center on Measurement in Education Yearbook. New York: Routledge.

Conley, D. T. (2017). Toward systems of assessment for deeper learning. In Heller, R., Wolfe, R. E., and Steinberg, A. (Eds.) Rethinking Readiness: Deeper Learning for College, Work, and Life. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Education Press.

Conley, D. T. (2016). Teaching “success skills” to conquer content. School Administrator. 4(73), 23-25.

Conley, D. T. (2014). New conceptions of college and career ready: A profile approach to admission. The Journal of the National Association for College Admission Counseling, 223, 12-23.

Conley, D. T. (2014). Getting ready for college, careers and the Common Core: What every educator needs to know. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 

Conley, D. T. (2010). College and career ready: Helping all students succeed beyond high school. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 

Conley, D. T. (2005). College knowledge: What it takes students to succeed and what we can do to get them ready. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. 

Conley, D. T. (2003). Who governs our schoolsChanging roles and responsibilities. New York: Teachers College Press.


David Conley, Professor Emeritus of Educational Policy and Leadership in the Department of Educational Methodology, Policy, and Leadership, College of Education, University of Oregon, has focused his research over the past 30 years on issues related to educational policy.

In the 1990s, he developed a proficiency-based admission standards system (PASS) for the Oregon University System. In 1999, at the request of Gov. Kitzhaber, he created the Quality Education Model, an equity funding formula that is now enshrined in the Oregon state constitution.

In 2000, he founded the Center for Educational Policy Research, which he continues to direct. He also founded and served for 12 years as CEO of the Educational Policy Improvement Center (EPIC, now Inflexion). Currently, he is the founder and president of EdImagine, a consultancy dedicated to helping educational organizations improve their effectiveness and hone their strategic direction. These three organizations all addressed a wide range of educational policy issues with the goal of improving education and making the public school system more equitable.

Dr. Conley is one of the national thought leaders in the area of college and career readiness, a term he coined and helped popularize in the early 2000s. He has conducted many of the foundational research studies in this area and has published multiple articles and policy briefs as well as three books on the topic.

Most recently, he has studied next-generation assessment and accountability systems, specifically those using new techniques and multiple measures. His most recent book that explores this area, The Promise and Practice of Next Generation Assessment, was published in July, 2018 by Harvard Education Press.

He has been appointed to numerous technical advisory groups and panels including the Smarter Balanced Technical Advisory Committee and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) Accountability Technical Advisory Committee. He served as a board member and chair of the steering committee for New Meridian, a national assessment organization. He is senior advisor to Intellispark, an educational startup creating comprehensive data platforms for school districts. He has had consulting relationships with most national assessment organizations including the College Board, International Baccalaureate, and Cambridge Assessment International.