National Board for Education Sciences Meets
National Board for Education Sciences Meets
 
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November 2015

For the first time since becoming acting director of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), Ruth Nield joined David Chard, chair of the National Board for Education Sciences (NBES), to welcome board members, IES staff, and visitors to the NBES meeting this month.

Nield announced that a new IES website is expected to roll out in February 2016.

Commissioners Tom Brock and Joan McLaughlin provided updates about the National Center for Education Research (NCER) and National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER), respectively. Brock spoke of new funding to investigate pathways to careers in education sciences with attention to diversifying the profession. Brock also spoke of IES-supported work on early learning and college completion.

NCER has also been involved with a special competition in collaboration with the Department of Education to evaluate several programs in state waivers, including new college- and career-ready standards, new teacher and principal accountability, and major school turnaround.

McLaughlin presented on a new initiative for both NCER and NCSER for funding new low-cost, short-duration evaluation requests for applications. Applications are due in mid-January for these two-year grants to evaluate a one-year intervention.

Elizabeth Albro, associate commissioner for teaching and learning at NCER, and Jacquelyn Buckley, research scientist at NCSER, shared their findings about the IES goal structure pipeline and what they learned about how centers build knowledge.

Anne Ricciutti, IES deputy director for science, explained the role of the standards and review office and efforts to continue to improve the grant review process.

The board devoted the afternoon to a discussion about the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) led by Acting Commissioner Peggy Carr. In addition to reports from several NCES associate commissioners, NCES stakeholders Brian Harris-Kojetin (National Academy of Sciences), Nancy Potok (U.S. Census Bureau), and Michael Casserly (Council of the Great City Schools) shared their perspectives on the value of NCES and current and future collaborations.

Of particular interest to AERA members was the discussion about pending legislation to reauthorize IES. Specifically, Harris-Kojetin raised concerns about the removal of the presidential appointment of the NCES commissioner, stating that it could further erode the autonomy of NCES. He also noted the importance of a commissioner’s having independence in reporting on statistics and having the stature to advise the department.

 
 
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