L.A. and Ariz.: Will Data Conflicts Spur a Chill Effect?
Never has there been more federal money or pressure for education scientists to partner with practitioners—from the U.S. Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation grants to the Institute of Education Sciences’ push for more classroom-level relevance in research.
At first glance, the two cases don’t appear to have much in common. In the course of a decadelong federal lawsuit over English-language-learner programs in Arizona, lawyers for state schools chief Tom Horne last month subpoenaed the raw data from three studies commissioned by the Civil Rights Project at the University of California, Los Angeles. In gathering the data, researchers from the University of Arizona, in Tucson, and Arizona State University, in Tempe, collected comments on teachers’ and administrators’ experiences with the ELL programs—some of them critical—and promised that the names of teachers, schools, and districts would be kept confidential. Some researchers protested the request, but Judge Raner C. Collins of the U.S. District Court in Tucson ruled on Aug. 19 that the names of schools and districts could be released, but not those...
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