Dr. Elsberry's dad was a Wesleyan pastor in the Iowa and Minnesota district. Part of what that means is that The Wesleyan Church, with all of its rich heritage and teachings, is part of his DNA. The connections with people and places he made during those formative years are an inextricable part of his history. Because he was raised in the upper Midwest, another part of what that means is that he saw his first Major League Baseball game when his dad took his brother and him to the old Metropolitan Stadium in suburban Minneapolis; he has been a lifelong fan of baseball in general and the Minnesota Twins in particular since that day. In addition to being an avid reader, another of Dr. Elsberry's passions is watching football (soccer to most Americans) with his son. One of their lifetime dreams was fulfilled when they attended a quarterfinal match between The Netherlands and Brazil at the Cotton Bowl during the 1994 World Cup; seats at midfield; tight, well-played match, back and forth; Brazil won 3-2; glorious day.
Among the best books he has read are Dupes, by Paul Kengor; In the Garden of Beasts, by Eric Larson; and Chasing Moonlight: The True Story of Field of Dreams’ Doc Graham, by Brett Friedlander and Robert Reising.
- A.A., 1968, Miltonvale Wesleyan College
- B.S., 1970, Indiana Wesleyan University
- M.Ed., 1986, University of Texas at Austin
- Ph.D., 1992, University of Texas at Austin
Dr. Elsberry's doctoral research was on the effectiveness of year-round education (commonly called a balanced calendar) as measured by students’ standardized test scores, among other factors. While the premise seems plausible that shortening extended summer breaks should improve learning for students, especially disadvantaged students, the research is mixed. Additional interests include teacher effectiveness, assessment of learning, and program assessment and effectiveness.