Friends of IES Briefing Features IES Research Supporting Academic Outcomes and Mental Health
Friends of IES Briefing Features IES Research Supporting Academic Outcomes and Mental Health

October 2021

On October 14, the Friends of the Institute of Education Sciences (FIES) held a virtual briefing on “Research that Informs Resilient Education Systems: The Role of the Federal Investment in IES.” The briefing highlighted how research supported by IES is working to support academic success and mental health and the role of research-practice partnerships in building students’ success in college and careers. The speakers included Catherine P. Bradshaw (University of Virginia), Elizabeth Talbott (College of William and Mary), and Fiona Helsel (Education Northwest).

AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine introduced the briefing and provided an overview of the work IES supports. In addition, Levine expressed thanks for the FY 2022 proposals advanced in the President’s budget request and by the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, while highlighting the need to boost investment in IES given its loss in purchasing power over the past decade.

Top row from left: Felice J. Levine, Catherine P. Bradshaw, Elizabeth Talbott
Bottom row from left: Fiona Helsel, ASL Interpreter

Bradshaw spoke to the role that IES has played in supporting research on interventions to support mental health and social and emotional needs that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated. Her compelling examples included scaling up of evidence-based programming through the IES-funded National Center for Rural School Mental Health, the use of early identification systems and data systems, and multi-tiered systems of support.

Talbott addressed evidence-based practices that have contributed to supporting academic outcomes for students with disabilities. IES’s National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) has funded interventions that include peer-assisted learning; individualized, data-based writing interventions; and word-problem tutoring for students with math difficulty. Talbott also noted needs that NCSER could support with additional investment, including individualized, data-driven instruction regardless of class setting; research in assessment; and culturally responsive behavior management.

Helsel showcased how the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Northwest is working to increase the use of evidence in education. A research-practice partnership that REL Northwest supports, the Oregon Graduation and Postsecondary Success Alliance, has incorporated evidence from accelerated learning and career and technical education (CTE). This work has resulted in the development of dashboards that Oregon educators can use to gauge participation in accelerated learning and CTE programs, as well as training in highlighting evidence-based practices to address equity gaps.

The video recording of the briefing and the slides are available on the AERA website.

The Friends of IES is a coalition of more than 40 scientific associations, K–12 and higher education organizations, universities, and organizations supporting persons with disabilities. The primary mission of FIES is to advocate for robust and sustained funding to enable IES to carry out its mission to produce research, statistics, and evidence-based tools to inform education policy and practice. AERA serves as the convening organization for FIES.

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