Rigor and Relevance Redux: Director's Biennial Report to Congress
The Institute of Education Sciences has issued the third and final Director's Biennial Report to Congress to be prepared by the Institute's first director, Dr. Grover J. (Russ) Whitehurst. Required by the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002, the report includes a description of the activities of IES and its four National Education Centers, as well as a summary of all IES grants and contracts during the biennium in excess of $100,000. The report also includes the Director's recommendations for continued progress and effectiveness of IES.
Among the report's highlights:
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recognized IES research, development, and dissemination programs with a rating of "effective"--the highest score on OMB's Program Assessment Rating Tool. OMB concluded that "... IES has transformed the quality and rigor of education research within the Department of Education and increased the demand for scientifically based evidence of effectiveness in the educaiton field as a whole."
The National Center for Education Research (NCER) continues to experience growth in the number of competitions and number of applications received. To date, NCER has funded research on reading, writing, mathematics, science, and teacher quality that has generated 24 interventions that are effective at improving student outcomes under the standards of the What Works Clearinghouse.
The National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance's What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) has identified 80 education interventions and programs that make a difference in student outcomes. The WWC website continues to thrive, with more than 531,000 separate visits to its website in FY 2008--a 10 percent increase from FY 2007.
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has to date awarded grants to 27 states to create or enhance statewide longitudinal data systems. NCES will achieve its 12-month goal for data releases (i.e., the amount of time that should elapse between the end of data collection and initial data release), a reduction from more than 18 months four years ago.