AERA Organization of Institutional Affiliates Holds Fall Policy Meeting

September 2015

Juliane Baron (AERA);  David Monk
 (Penn State University); Jennifer Grodsky
(Boston University); Howard Gobstein
(American Public and Land-grant Universities)

AERA’s Organization of Institutional Affiliates (OIA) held its annual Fall Policy Meeting on September 20 and 21 in Washington, D.C. Representatives of more than 50 graduate schools and education and research organizations attended. Participants met with top research policy experts, leaders from major foundations, and prominent national education journalists. 

OIA Chair Hardin Coleman, of Boston University, and AERA Executive Director Felice J. Levine welcomed the attendees. The agenda began with a panel discussion of foundation perspectives on supporting and using research to foster education improvement. Panelists included Barbara Chow, program director, Hewlett Foundation; Adam Gamoran, president, William T. Grant Foundation; and Jacqueline Jones, president and CEO, Foundation for Child Development.

Two panels addressed raising the profile of education research in the media and on Capitol Hill. Dan Berrett, senior reporter, Chronicle of Higher Education; Nirvi Shah, deputy policy editor, Politico; and Sarah Sparks, reporter, Education Week, addressed how to make education research more newsworthy. David Monk, dean, College of Education, Penn State University; Jennifer Grodsky, vice president for federal relations, Boston University; and Howard Gobstein, executive vice president, American Public and Land-grant Universities, discussed strategies for advocating for federal funding for research.

OIA participants also heard from colleagues in leadership positions at the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), the two federal agencies providing the greatest support for education research. Joan Ferrini-Mundy, NSF assistant director, Education and Human Resources Directorate; and Ruth Neild, acting director of IES, provided overviews of education research activities at their respective organizations. 

This year, on the afternoon following the conference, OIA attendees had the opportunity to meet with their Senate office staff and Senate committees with jurisdiction over federal agencies supporting education research. AERA Director of Government Relations Juliane Baron led a training session on how to engage successfully in congressional meetings, and provided talking points. 

The 2016 OIA meeting is scheduled for September 18–19 in Washington, D.C.