National Board for Education Sciences Holds Fall Meeting

October 2014

The National Board for Education Sciences (NBES) held its fall meeting on October 30. The board, established under statutory authority in 2002 to advise the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), is chaired by AERA member David Chard (Southern Methodist University), with AERA member Susanna Loeb (Stanford University) serving as vice chair.

The October meeting took up important substantive topics, including the Higher Education Rating System and the ESEA Pooled Evaluation Authority. NBES also heard reports from the commissioners of the fours centers—National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), National Center for Education Research, National Center for Special Education Research, and National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance. 

Of particular interest to AERA members was a discussion about exploring the possibility of moving to an integrated assessment system within NCES for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMMS), and the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS).

Ted Mitchell, U.S. under secretary of education, spoke about plans for a higher education rating system, followed by Robert Gordon, senior adviser to U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, giving remarks about the pooled evaluation authority of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

NBES also was briefed by four researchers on specific interventions directed to supporting the development of boys and young men growing up in areas of concentrated poverty. The board recognized the importance of high-quality research and intervention studies on issues central to youth development.

This was the first meeting of the Board since Sue Betka, long-time veteran of the U.S. Department of Education, was named acting director of IES.