The Senate is scheduled to put its own mark on H.R.4366, the Strengthening Education through Research Act, which reauthorizes federal education research through the Institute of Education Sciences.
According to a notice on its site (and a hat-tip to Michele McLaughlin of Knowledge Alliance), the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee will discuss the bill, along with a handful of other items, on Wednesday, Sept. 17 at 10 a.m. at 430 of the Dirksen Senate building in Washington.
- Mandate a strategic plan for IES and outside evaluations every three years for each of IES’ centers.
- Require ongoing evaluations of the regional educational laboratories and comprehensive centers, and would cap the number of the centers at 17 and the labs at 10 to “reduce overlapping duties.”
- Eliminate the specific topics which the National Center for Education Research’s research and development centers must cover. Instead, the bill requires the centers to balance coverage of prekindergarten, K-12, and postsecondary issues.
- Replace “scientifically based research standards” with “scientifically valid research,” intended to encourage more research methodologies beyond so-called “gold standard” randomized-control trials.
The House bill also opted to reject a call by the American Educational Research Association to move the National Center for Education Statistics out of IES; instead, the bill would confirm the NCES commissioner as a position appointed by the IES director, instead of being a position confirmed by the Senate (which has caused delays in filling the position in the past.)
We’ll have a closer look at the House and Senate discussions of education research in the next week.
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A version of this news article first appeared in the Inside School Research blog.