The U.S. Department of Education has awarded $49 million in contracts to four universities to run national education research centers over the next five years.
The centers are the last of 10 being funded under the department’s Institute of Education Sciences. The institute was established in a 2002 overhaul of the department’s research operations, and it has since been phasing in the new research centers, most of which focus on topics different from those the previous generation of research centers handled.
Running the Gamut
The four centers named last month are:
• The National Research Center on Preparing Low-Skilled Students to Succeed in College, which will operate under a $10 million contract to Teachers College, Columbia University, in New York City.
• The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, run by the University of Connecticut in Storrs under a $8.7 million grant from the federal Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program.
• The National Research Center on Early Childhood Education, created under a $10 million grant to the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
• The National Center of Teacher Performance Incentives, which will operate under a $9.8 million grant to Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn.
The July 28 announcement came shortly after the Urban Institute, a Washington think tank, disclosed that it had received a $10 million contract from the department to run the Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research. The center will mine state databases for information on how teacher mobility, hiring, compensation, and other practices affect student achievement. (“Research Center to Scour States’ Data Troves,” July 26, 2006.)
The five centers that received grants from the institute in 2004 and 2005 focus on: rural education; data-driven school improvement efforts for low-achieving districts; English-language learners; school choice, competition, and student achievement; and evaluation, standards, and student testing.
Section Start-Up: This week marks the debut of Eye on Research, a weekly section focused on education-related scholarship. The section is supported by a grant from the Spencer Foundation.
A version of this article appeared in the August 30, 2006 edition of Education Week as Final Four of 10 New Centers For Subject-Specific Research Unveiled by Federal Officials