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ERIC Number: EJ872461
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 13
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1557-3060
Making Research in Education Finance and Policy Matter Now
Schwartz, Amy Ellen
Education Finance and Policy, v5 n1 p1-13 Win 2010
Research in education finance and policy has flourished over the past twenty years as No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and a wide range of school reform efforts spurred demand for scientific evidence identifying "what works." Research funding has been generous, buoyed by both favorable economic conditions and the sense that research will provide solutions to persistent problems in American schooling. It has been a good time for education research. However, successful use of and enthusiasm for new techniques and data have not been matched by comparable success in identifying solutions to pressing problems and resolving continuing disputes about efficacy and efficiency. Indeed, the results have been fairly modest--yielding more insight into "what doesn't work" than what does. As research funding from foundations and governments tightens with the economic downturn and a new presidential administration takes the helm, the time is ripe to reevaluate and consider how to make research in education policy and finance matter. In this essay, the author contends that the key to making education policy research matter is asking questions that matter--about pressing problems that affect large numbers of students in a broad range of circumstances--and providing useful answers and solutions that are feasible, practical, and implementable under realistic circumstances. The author discusses three key implications for making education policy research matter now. First, methodology must follow from the question (rather than vice versa). Second, researchers need to look outside the traditional boundaries of education research to understand how nutrition, health care, housing, and other factors affect student outcomes. Finally, research is needed on the large, diverse population of urban school children, the challenges posed by poverty, immigration, mobility, race, and ethnicity, and the systemic challenges of large urban school districts. (Contains 8 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York