ERIC Number: ED568390
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 24
The Gauntlet: Think Tanks and Federally Funded Centers Misrepresent and Suppress Other Education Research
Phelps, Richard P.
Online Submission, Nonpartisan Education Review/Essays v10 n1 p1-19 2014
Currently, too few people have too much influence over those who control the education research purse strings. And, those who control the purse strings have too much influence over policy decisions. Until folk at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the US Education Department--to mention just a couple of consistent funders of education policy debacles--broaden their networks, expand their reading lists, and open their minds to more intellectual diversity, they will continue to produce education policy failure. It would help if they would fund a wider pool of education researchers, evidence, and information. In recent years, they have, instead, encouraged the converse--funding a saturating dissemination of a narrow pool of information--thereby contributing to US education policy's number 1 problem: pervasive misinformation. So what? The aggressive, career-strategic behavior of researchers in federally funded centers and think tanks creates many problems, including a loss of useful information and bad public policies based on skewed information. But, two adverse consequences worry me the most. First, these badly behaved researchers are the only ones that most journalists and policy-makers pay any attention to. Second, the effects of their bad behavior are spreading overseas. The education testing research function at the World Bank, for example, has been handed down over the past few decades from one scholar affiliated with Boston College's School of Education to another. True to form, they cite the research they like, some of which is their own, most of the rest of which comes from Center for Research and Exploration in Space Science & Technology (CRESST), and imply that the vast majority of relevant research does not exist. More recently, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published a completely one-sided study on educational assessment that ignores most of the relevant research literature and highlights that conducted at a certain US federal research center and several US think tanks (Phelps 2013, 2014). Their skewed recommendations are now the world's.
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A