Dr. Joshua Barnett

Chief Executive Officer


Twitter: @NIETjbarnett

Dr. Joshua Barnett is NIET's chief executive officer, responsible for overseeing all of the organization's operations including service delivery, research and evaluation, professional learning and learning technology development, policy and communications, financial operations, and higher education partnerships.

Previously, Josh served as president and chief operating officer for NIET, where he supported NIET partnerships with strategic oversight of research, NIET's higher education innovation, and service delivery. He was also the principal leader and investigator for NIET's successful federal projects. He has been with NIET since January 2013 when he joined as the organization's senior vice president of research and evaluation. In that role, he led NIET's research agenda and production of evidentiary support for all initiatives and grant programs. He also directed all external evaluation projects and research services.

Josh's research work throughout his career has explored how to improve educator quality in all schools for all students by addressing two related issues: examining how teachers and principals are evaluated and how resources are distributed to and used within schools.

Before joining NIET, Josh worked as an assistant professor of education policy and evaluation at Arizona State University, a visiting scholar at Massey University in New Zealand and a research associate in the Office for Education Policy at the University of Arkansas.

Josh has taught courses in research methods, school finance, evaluation, and educational psychology; worked as an evaluator for nearly three dozen federal and state grants; served as an evaluator for the U.S. Institute of Education Sciences; and worked with local, state and national government agencies and organizations on projects aimed at improving educator effectiveness.

His work has been published in a variety of outlets, including Review of Educational Research, Teachers College Record, Educational Leadership, New Zealand Education Review, and Issues in Teacher Education. He is also co-author of A Straightforward Guide to Teacher Merit Pay: Encouraging and Rewarding Schoolwide Improvement and Learning on the Job: How Evaluation Systems Can Support Teacher Growth.

Dr. Joshua  Barnett

Who is your favorite teacher?

My favorite teacher is always a tough question. While I was greatly impacted by so many tremendous educators, two come to mind. First, my fifth-grade teacher was Ms. Brenda Shurley, creator of the Shurley Method. Ms. Shurley taught our class songs about grammar concepts. At the time, I had no idea how different of an approach this was or what the word "curriculum" meant. However, years later, I realized along my own educational pathway that she created a program to impact students. I was one of those students in what was then rural Arkansas. Second, Ms. Jane Balgavy taught gifted and talented in my junior high school and later forensics and debate at the high school. Ms. Balgavy gave me and my classmates a sense of accomplishment and excellence as our team competed in events. However, she also gave us a personal sense of growth and belonging – caring for each student in her class. Undoubtedly I am a product of the hard work and determination of many educators, and I greatly appreciate all teachers for what they do to impact students.

What was your favorite subject in school and why?

My favorite subject in school was writing. The ability to use words to create, inform, and entertain a reader or audience member always humbled and challenged me. The way language can adjust in interpretation and meaning from person to person still fascinates me.