Federal Letter to the Editor

New Hampshire State Schools Chief: Federally Funded Research Crucial

June 03, 2014 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

To the Editor:

I’m writing in response to the online Commentary “ Making the Most of Federal Ed. Research,” which questioned the utility of federally funded research in the day-to-day work of educators.

As the commissioner of education in New Hampshire, I can say confidently that the regional education laboratory for our region has played an important role in boosting outcomes for students and teachers in New Hampshire’s schools. One example is the Northeast Educator Effectiveness Research Alliance convened by REL Northeast and Islands, REL-NEI, bringing our department staff and REL researchers together to conduct an implementation study of teacher evaluation in the state’s School Improvement Grant schools.

This formative evaluation is providing important feedback to us as we scale up this work to other schools. It’s also helping the participating teachers learn more about student learning. It’s real work helping real school people. Bringing the regional lab into the conversation was important. It opened up the possibility of having external partners that were invested in a scientific, evidence-based way of doing business.

For us, educator effectiveness was clearly the nucleus that was going to have the most significant impact on the change process in our state, and we committed to this process. Working with REL-NEI, we were able to establish a strong alliance of 67 stakeholders—including parents, policymakers, teachers, superintendents, principals, and state and local board members—all focused on education effectiveness.

It was a huge effort, and the regional lab’s research staff was an essential party. They pulled us all together to begin a process that helped us come up with an evaluation system that would work for everyone.

Federal education research matters. After all is said and done, the education profession needs to base its work on research that offers best practices to support our students and their future.

Virginia M. Barry

Commissioner of Education

New Hampshire Department of Education

Concord, N.H.

A version of this article appeared in the June 04, 2014 edition of Education Week as New Hampshire State Schools Chief: Federally Funded Research Crucial


Student Well-Being K-12 Essentials Forum Social-Emotional Learning: Making It Meaningful
Join us for this event with educators and experts on the damage the pandemic did to academic and social and emotional well-being.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Privacy & Security Webinar
K-12 Cybersecurity in the Real World: Lessons Learned & How to Protect Your School
Gain an expert understanding of how school districts can improve their cyber resilience and get ahead of cybersecurity challenges and threats.
Content provided by Microsoft
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Student Well-Being Webinar
Trauma-Informed Schools 101: Best Practices & Key Benefits
Learn how to develop a coordinated plan of action for addressing student trauma and
fostering supportive, healthy environments.
Content provided by Crisis Prevention Institute

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Federal How a Divided Congress Will Influence K-12 Education Policy
The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives education committees will have new leaders in January.
6 min read
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks Monday, June 13, 2022, during a debate with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C, Hosted by Fox News at the The Edward M. Kennedy Institute in Boston for a debate intended to prove that bipartisanship isn't dead.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during a June debate with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C, at The Edward M. Kennedy Institute in Boston. Sanders is poised to become the chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee.
Josh Reynolds/AP
Federal What the Federal 'Don't Say Gay' Bill Actually Says
The bill would restrict federal funds for lessons on LGBTQ identities. The outcome of this week's election could revive its prospects.
4 min read
Demonstrators gather on the steps of the Florida Historic Capitol Museum in front of the Florida State Capitol on March 7, 2022, in Tallahassee, Fla. Florida House Republicans advanced a bill, dubbed by opponents as the "Don't Say Gay" bill, to forbid discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity in schools, rejecting criticism from Democrats who said the proposal demonizes LGBTQ people.
Demonstrators gather on the steps of the Florida Historic Capitol Museum in Tallahassee on March 7, 2022. Florida's "Don't Say Gay" law was a model for a federal bill introduced last month.
Wilfredo Lee/AP
Federal Fed's Education Research Board Is Back. Here's Why That Matters
Defunct for years, the National Board for Education Sciences has new members and new priorities.
2 min read
Image of a conference table.
Federal Opinion NAEP Needs to Be Kept at Arm’s Length From Politics
It’s in all our interests to ensure NAEP releases are buffered from political considerations and walled off from political appointees.
4 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty