WASHINGTON, D.C. | April 2, 2014 -
Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Chairman Todd Rokita (R-IN) and Ranking Member Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) today introduced the Strengthening Education through Research Act (H.R. 4366), legislation that will reauthorize the Education Sciences Reform Act and make it easier for states and school districts to access timely information on successful education practices.
“Quality education research is critical to successful schools,” said Rep. Rokita. “To raise student achievement levels, teachers and school leaders need good data on what works – and what doesn’t – in the classroom. The legislation we are introducing today will improve education research, protect taxpayers by enhancing program accountability, and help ensure more schools and students can benefit from effective education practices.”
Rep. McCarthy said, “I firmly believe that in order to successfully prepare our students for the workforce, our nation’s educators must be able to identify and have access to successful and proven techniques. I am proud to note that this legislation reaffirms a federal commitment to states and localities to provide teachers, principals, and educational leaders with the latest research products that can improve educational equity and effectiveness for students without bias.”
In 2002 the Education Sciences Reform Act established the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). The Institute is responsible for gathering information on education progress, conducting research on educational practices in the nation’s schools, and evaluating the quality of federal education programs and initiatives. However, the Education Sciences Reform Act is overdue for reform, and a recent report by the Government Accountability Office found several weaknesses in the law that must be addressed.
The Strengthening Education through Research Act:
- Enhances the relevancy of education research at the state and local levels, helping teachers, students, parents, and policymakers access more useful information about successful education practices.
- Streamlines the federal education research system, preventing overlap, redundancy, and duplication of research efforts.
- Improves accountability and protects the taxpayers’ investment by requiring regular evaluations of research and education programs.
- Preserves and enhances focus on research regarding educational equity and closing achievement gaps.
- Strengthens privacy provisions to ensure personally identifiable information collected by IES is secure and protected.
- Maintains the autonomy of IES, the National Assessment Governing Board, and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (also known as the Nation’s Report Card) to shield these entities from political influence and bias.
To view a bill summary, click here. To read a fact sheet, click here.
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