National Academies Hold Additional Public Meetings on IES Research Programs and NCES

July 2021

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) held meetings in late June and early July on two panel studies focusing on programs within the Institute of Education Sciences (IES).

Focusing on the study “The Future of Education Research at the Institute of Education Sciences,” a NASEM committee held a two-part public meeting on June 29 and July 7, which featured a variety of perspectives to inform questions raised on research gaps, equity, and research use, and met again on July 9.

The June 29 meeting kicked off with an update from Elizabeth Albro, commissioner of the National Center for Education Research (NCER), Joan McLaughlin, commissioner of the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER), and Anne Ricciuti, deputy director for science at the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). Albro and McLaughlin discussed gaps in research not currently being funded in their respective centers. Ricciuti detailed efforts that IES is taking to increase diversity and equity on peer review panels and for applicants and grantees.

The committee also heard perspectives of federal research agencies outside of IES, foundations, and practitioners. Evan Heit, director of the Division of Research on Learning in the National Science Foundation’s Education and Human Resources Directorate, and James Griffin, chief of the Child Development and Behavior Branch of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, provided information on education research funded at their agencies and diversity and inclusion efforts. Gila Neta, program director for implementation science in the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences at the National Cancer Institute, detailed work on implementation science in the medical field as a potential model for education research.

Na’ilah Suad Nasir, AERA president and president of the Spencer Foundation, described the Spencer Foundation’s activities to support education research and the equity-focus lens used to drive equity in education. Bob Hughes, director of K–12 Education with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Jim Short, program director of Leadership and Teaching to Advance Learning with the Carnegie Corporation of New York, provided their perspectives.

The committee also heard the perspectives of researchers who work with states and local districts, and of state and district officials, on partnerships between researchers and policymakers. The conversation centered on how questions and research agendas can be collaboratively developed to effectively use research for equity and improving student outcomes.

The July 7 meeting featured three panels with comments from speakers and the committee on measurements and methods in education research, the impact of the investment in education research, and training and retaining education researchers.

The committee is accepting public comments during the deliberation process, which may be emailed to

Focusing on the second study, “A Vision and Roadmap for Education Statistics” (about NCES), the committee held a public meeting on July 9. The meeting included comments from Jack Buckley, former commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), on data linkages at the College Board. Buckley, an active AERA member, is immediate past chair of the AERA Government Relations Committee. Additional speakers detailed data linkages at the state level, partnerships with the Census Bureau and other federal agencies to link data in secure settings, and the use of longitudinal data to understand outcomes from postsecondary education.