2013 OIA Fall Policy Meeting
2013 OIA Fall Policy Meeting
Researchers, Policy Makers Convene at OIA Fall Policy Meeting
October 2013 

AERA’s Organization of Institutional Affiliates (OIA) held its annual Fall Policy Meeting in Washington, D.C., September 22 and 23, bringing together 55 member representatives from graduate schools of education and research institutions, and various speakers, including John Easton, head of the Institute of Education Sciences.

Much of the discussion over the two days focused on federal education research policy and professional development initiatives at education research institutions. 

Robert Reiser of Florida State University, Catherine Bradshaw of the University of Virginia, and Maxine Freund of George Washington University spoke about their efforts to assist faculty in securing research funding. Doug Palmer of Texas A&M University, James Fairweather of Michigan State University, and Darleen Opfer of RAND discussed the methods and limitations of evaluating researcher productivity.

On the policy side, John Easton addressed the current state of education research at IES. Noting the recent House Education and the Workforce Committee hearing on strengthening the agency, Easton emphasized the urgent need to increase the dissemination and relevance of education research. He cited several areas where education research would be useful to states and school districts, in particular: teacher evaluation, student assessment, and development of noncognitive skills.

The need for relevant research was underscored by Maria Ferguson of the Center on Education Policy; Ron Hunter, recently retired from the American Association of School Administrators; and Lee Posey of the National Conference of State Legislatures. The three participated in a panel discussion about the information that state and district leaders are seeking for the implementation of the Common Core State Standards and its parallel assessments.

AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine presented preliminary findings from the AERA/NAEd Assessment of Education Research Doctorate Programs. Levine described the project, the rationale, and the contents of the upcoming first report that will provide a topographic map of the education research field. The study is the first-ever comprehensive examination of education research doctorate programs in the United States. The assessment will yield critical data and findings that can be used to establish benchmarks and quality criteria to advance and improve education research doctorate programs nationally.

In addition, Libby Nelson of the recently launched Politico Pro Education daily newsletter, Michele McLaughlin of Knowledge Alliance, and Matthew Di Carlo of the Shanker Institute provided informal remarks during a dinner program.

The OIA Executive Committee, elected by OIA member representatives, is tasked with developing the content for the annual Fall Policy Meeting. The 2014 meeting is tentatively scheduled for September 13 and 14 in Washington, D.C. For more information, contact Gerald Sroufe, AERA staff liaison.