IES and White House Initiative Hold Briefing on Supporting Black Students Across the Education Sciences

February 2022

On February 15, the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) and the White House Initiative on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Black Americans held a virtual briefing, “Supporting Black Students Across the Education Sciences.”

Monique Toussaint, senior advisor for the White House initiative, provided an overview of her office’s work and role in highlighting effective policies and practices to advance educational outcomes for Black students. Katina Stapleton, co-chair of the IES Diversity and Inclusion Council, highlighted IES’s recent work on diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.

The briefing featured a panel of three education researchers who have received funding support from IES:

  • James Huguley, associate dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion, and associate professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work
  • Nicole Patton Terry, Olive & Manuel Bordas Professor of Education in the School of Teacher Education and director of the Florida Center for Reading Research, Florida State University
  • Jamie Pearson, assistant professor of special education, North Carolina State University College of Education

Each of the panelists provided insight into how education research can support equity and advice for Black education researchers. Patton Terry noted three areas of importance: moving beyond design to solving problems, being sure not to describe Black people in research as a homogeneous population, and highlighting the need for equity in the process of research, including who controls decisions for funding and institutional leadership. Pearson described the need to recruit diverse research participants, to engage stakeholders at the outset and put them at the center, and to practice researcher reflexivity. Huguley described the importance of documenting programs that work better for Black students, and the need to look at structural items such as school funding resources that influence educational outcomes for Black students.

The panelists also shared their experiences in providing advice for Black scholars in pursuing funding. Pearson detailed pillars for securing research funding: partner with a good mentor, plan ahead, be persistent in seeking funding, and be responsive to reviewer feedback. Huguley also highlighted partnerships, noting that bringing ideas into a project or serving as a co-principal investigator on a grant can establish a track record. He also emphasized the need to pursue internal institutional awards or other funding sources as practice, and to consider the trajectory of funding before pursuing an IES grant.

This briefing is the first in a speaker series hosted by IES and the White House initiative: “Black Voices in Education Research.” The next event will be held in April.