IES is the primary research and evaluation arm of the U.S. Department of Education. Authorized by the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002 (ESRA), the Institute's mission is to expand fundamental knowledge and understanding of education and to provide education leaders and practitioners, parents and students, researchers, and the general public with unbiased, reliable, and useful information about the condition and progress of education in the United States; about education policies, programs, and practices that support learning and improve academic achievement and access to educational opportunities for all students; and about the effectiveness of federal and other education programs.
IES's website states, "Our mission is to provide rigorous and relevant evidence on which to ground education practice and policy and share this information broadly. By identifying what works, what doesn't, and why, we aim to improve educational outcomes for all students, particularly those at risk of failure. We are the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education, and by law our activities must be free of partisan political influence."1