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ERIC Number: EJ898340
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2000
Pages: 38
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1096-2719
The Federal Role in Educational Research and Development
Vinovskis, Maris A.
Brookings Papers on Education Policy, p359-396 2000
The federal government has been collecting, analyzing, and disseminating educational statistics for more than 130 years. Over time the focus has shifted from data gathering to research and development (R&D) to find more effective ways of educating children. Educational research and development, however, has not been held in high esteem by most academics and policymakers in the twentieth century. In this paper, the author examines the history of the federal Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI). He addresses seven issues: (1) the relative independence of OERI; (2) the quality and quantity of the research staff; (3) the funding and flexibility in the allocation of resources; (4) the fragmentation of the research and development efforts; (5) the quality of the research and development produced; (6) the intellectual leadership at OERI; and (7) the role of politics in the agency. He finds that OERI, originally known as the National Institute of Education, has never been able to attract a distinguished group of education researchers, nor has it ever been able to escape the suspicion on Capitol Hill that its research is affected by political considerations. This perception has been strengthened by the lobbying activities of the federal regional education laboratories, as well as by the Clinton administration's surprise decision not to reappoint the well-regarded commissioner of education statistics in 1999. The author offers suggestions for strengthening the research agency and considers proposals for reconstituting it as a quasi-independent agency with its own bipartisan board, but warns that the agency may not survive unless it can command broad respect for the quality of its research. Comments by Carl F. Kaestle and Thomas K. Glennan, Jr. are included. (Contains 75 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A