Education Research Advisory Board encourages broad IES mission

Board members debated how IES could increase the likelihood of identifying interventions that produce positive results and how to make research that shows little or no effect more useful to the practitioner policymaking communities
On March 23, the National Board for Education Sciences, the advisory board for the Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, met in Washington and discussed some of the institute’s latest initiatives. In keeping with IES Director John Easton’s emphasis on increasing the relevance of IES-funded research, there was a lively debate about how IES could increase the likelihood of identifying interventions that produce positive results and how to make research that shows little or no effect more useful to the practitioner policymaking communities.  Board members discussed the need for IES to both evaluate the effectiveness of current practice as well as fund more developmental research that is supported by underlying theories in cognition, motivation and learning.  National Center for Education Statistics Commissioner Jack Buckley elaborated on some of the challenges related to developing common measure for the state data longitudinal systems, an initiative that continues to be a priority under the Obama Administration. In the FY12 budget request, the Administration asked for a $100 million increase for IES, most of which would support the institute’s efforts to develop statewide data longitudinal systems. $40 million would be used to for new research and development grants in early learning and elementary, secondary, and postsecondary education and to initiate several new evaluations of interventions to improve college enrollment, persistence, and completion and an evaluation of the Promise Neighborhoods program. Additional information is also available on the IES website about current IES funding opportunities.