AERA Provides Comments on IES Proposed Priorities
AERA Provides Comments on IES Proposed Priorities

May 2019

On May 28, AERA submitted comments in response to the proposed priorities for the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) published in the Federal Register. As noted in the March 2019 AERA Highlights, the proposed priorities reflect initiatives that IES director Mark Schneider has discussed in several blog posts over the past year. These include plans to incorporate outcome measures in the upcoming round of Research Funding Announcements, developing the Standards for Excellence in Education Research (SEER) principles, and increasing dissemination and use of research.

“AERA welcomes the opportunity to provide feedback on these proposed priorities,” said AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine. “We have appreciated Dr. Schneider’s efforts over the past year to gather input from the research community, as well as from teachers and principals who ultimately are the target audience for the evidence built from IES data and research.”

AERA’s response focuses on several aspects of the priorities in encouraging IES to:

  • Maintain the commitment of IES to fund basic, fundamental research
  • Ensure that the measures for outcomes apply to all students, inclusive of students with or at risk of disabilities, English learners, and other traditionally underserved groups of students
  • Include state longitudinal data systems as part of overall data use
  • Broaden participation in the education research pipeline, through apprenticeships with state and local education agencies or through the predoctoral and postdoctoral training programs
  • Include teachers, principals, and administrators as potential partners with researchers both in the initial development and in scale-up of education research interventions

The response also highlights the need for additional appointments to the National Board for Education Sciences (NBES), as the board will need to review the public comments and approve the priorities. NBES has not met since 2016 due to a lack of a quorum of members.

The Friends of IES coalition, for which AERA serves as the chairing organization, also submitted comments highlighting the need for appointments to NBES, recommending that education agencies be included in partnerships with researchers, and offering coalition members as resources for feedback as the priorities are implemented.