AERA Holds Advocacy Day

Dr. Sonya Horsford and
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) 
April 2016

On the first day of the 2016 Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., AERA held an Advocacy Day with more than 50 AERA members visiting 100 congressional offices. The aim of the day was to bring active researchers to Capitol Hill to make the case for the value of education research and to urge Congress to adequately fund agencies that support education research.

Prior to Advocacy Day, Juliane Baron, AERA Director of Government Relations, led webinar training for participants. Before heading to Capitol Hill, participants had a breakfast orientation and the opportunity to hear from Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD). Cummings thanked AERA members for making these important visits, explaining that he and his colleagues rely on the expertise of education researchers to improve the quality of education. He encouraged AERA members to share the implications of their research in clear language and cautioned that a peer-reviewed journal article sitting on the shelf is not going to effect change. Furthermore, he encouraged members to invest the majority of their advocacy efforts with offices that do not already agree with them.

The visits to congressional offices coincided with the declaration of April 8 as “National Education Research Day” in a congressional resolution introduced by Reps. Michael Honda (D-CA) and Bobby Scott (D-VA). The resolution congratulated AERA on its 100th anniversary and highlighted the association’s many scientific and public education contributions over the past century.