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Organization of Institutional Affiliates Confronts Challenging Research Policy Issues
 
Organization of Institutional Affiliates Confronts Challenging Research Policy Issues
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September 2012

On September 9 and 10, AERA’s Organization of Institutional Affiliates (OIA) held its annual fall policy meeting in Washington, D.C. The OIA consists of graduate schools and colleges of education as well as research institutions. The meeting provided an opportunity for OIA representatives to hear and talk with Congressional staff, policy makers, and federal representatives of national organizations about research and education policy issues. More than 80 participants were intensively engaged in this event.

The program featured congressional staff members, researchers, and policy makers with broad expertise. Joel Packer of the Committee for Education Funding discussed the potential impacts of the presidential and congressional elections on appropriations for education. Jamie Fasteau and Lindsay Fryer of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce and Michael Gamel-McCormick and Lindsay Hunsicker of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee provided their insights on the future of key pieces of education legislation in Congress and the role of research in informing their policy making.

Other speakers focused on timely education topics: Andrew Porter of the University of Pennsylvania spoke on the implementation of the Common Core State Standards; Michael Feuer of George Washington University talked about the engagement of research universities and related partners in the D.C. public school evaluation; and Marc Tucker of the National Center on Education and the Economy highlighted recent developments on international benchmarking and the challenge presented to U.S. researchers to study successful models beyond U.S. borders.

The dinner program featured speakers offering insight on various aspects of education policy: Jim Kohlmoos, the former executive director of the Knowledge Alliance, discussed his transition to directing the National Association of State Boards of Education and the necessary shift to the demand side of research after his work on the supply side; Scott Thomas, executive director of Magnet Schools of America, talked about the role of magnet schools in furthering current education reform efforts; Elizabeth Rich of Education Week discussed how researchers can present their research through opinion pieces and commentary; and Anne Ricciuti of the Institute of Education Sciences described the institute’s peer review process.

“The OIA Fall Policy Meeting continues to be a key resource and means of discussing critical issues and formulating action on significant research policy issues for OIA members,” said Felice Levine, AERA executive director, who participated in both days of the program. “Forging connections between the research community and policy makers is important for facilitating engagement and furthering policy development.

The OIA Executive Committee, elected by OIA member representatives, is tasked with developing the content for the annual fall policy meeting. For more information, please contact Gerald Sroufe, AERA director of government relations.
 
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