AERA Comments on Education Department’s Draft Strategic Plan
AERA Comments on Education Department’s Draft Strategic Plan

October 2013

AERA has submitted comments on the Department of Education’s draft Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years 2014–2018. The strategic plan includes overall guidance for the agency’s work in six areas of education. AERA’s comments focus mostly on the area of continuous improvement.


AERA recommends that the Department:


·         Explicitly state the importance of reauthorizing the Education Sciences Reform Act as stated for other education laws overdue for reauthorization;


·         Remove “reform-directed” from the goal to increase the percentage of new grants that reward evidence;


·         Ensure that the National Board for Education Sciences retains the flexibility to develop research priorities for the Institute of Education Sciences; and


·         Integrate the goals of the National Science Foundation’s strategic plan into the Department’s public engagement and K–12 STEM initiatives.


AERA welcomes the Education Department’s partnership with the National Science Foundation to implement the recommendations of the National Science and Technology Council’s  Committee on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Education. The Department plans to work with NSF to increase K–12 STEM pathways for students and improve the quality of K–12 STEM teachers. AERA encourages further partnerships between the Department and NSF on research in STEM education.


The Department’s draft plan outlines a framework for the ongoing development of state longitudinal data systems and voluntary common data standards. The plan also includes the Department’s efforts to balance access to data with student privacy, by continuing to foster compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

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