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Two Companies Well Known In Education Research Merge

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Two well-known education and social-science research companies, the American Institutes for Research and Pelavin Associates, merged last week.

Together, the two organizations employ one of the largest private-sector concentrations of education researchers in the nation. Of the 250 research scientists employed by the combined group, roughly half or more specialize in education.

David Goslin, the president of the not-for-profit A.I.R., said the merger will give both companies "greater depth and breadth of experience."

"It will also give us an opportunity to look in a more systematic way at the relationship between problems in the field of education and problems in the employment arena," he added.

While both companies have done work in education, much of A.I.R.'s business now comes from labor, human-performance, and employment-equity studies conducted for the U.S. Defense and Labor departments.

Education researchers have long complained that, in comparison with other fields, federal spending for education research has been meager. But Mr. Goslin said he sees education research as a growth area for the new organization.

Pelavin Becomes Subsidiary

The Washington-based A.I.R. made a mark in education research with Project Talent, a 1960's study that collected data on 5 percent of the nation's high school students.

Pelavin, a for-profit firm begun 12 years ago out of Sol H. and Diane C. Pelavin's home, has conducted studies for the U.S. Education Department on special education, early-childhood education, and international studies, among others.

Under the new arrangement, Pelavin became a wholly owned subsidiary of A.I.R. and kept its profit-making status. Its new parent company, which is still a nonprofit, will maintain its Washington headquarters and its research facilities in Palo Alto, Calif., and Lexington, Mass.

Pelavin, also based in Washington, will move to offices closer to A.I.R.'s in that city. It was renamed Pelavin Research Institute.

The two companies are expected to do $22 million in business over the 1995 fiscal year.

The number of employees of the two companies is not expected to change, officials said.

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