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August 2006

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Highlights From the 2006 IES Research Conference

IES played host to a very successful first annual research conference on June 15-16 in Washington, DC. Here's the conference by the numbers:

Ies research conference by the numbers"This is an historic event. It couldn't have happened 10 years ago," said IES Director Grover J. (Russ) Whitehurst as he summed up the two-day conference. "Now the community exists to support an event like this."

The conference was organized so that concurrent panel and poster sessions were sandwiched around three plenary sessions Thursday and a fourth Friday. Some of the nation's eminent researchers with names regularly in the news mixed easily with students in predoctoral interdisciplinary training programs who are just getting started in the education sciences.

Poster presentations were grouped by theme so that, for example, a researcher in cognition and student learning could circulate easily among several presentations with similar themes but different research designs. Panel discussion topics ranged from "Robustness of Value-Added Models" in postsecondary education to "Accessing and Using NCES Longitudinal Survey Data."

Whitehurst said "prominent practitioners and policymakers" were invited to address plenary sessions. Among them: Chris Whittle, founder and chief executive officer of Edison Schools; Charles Miller, chair of the Secretary of Education's Commission on the Future of Higher Education; Michael Casserly, executive director of the Council of the Great City Schools; and Kati Haycock, director of the Education Trust.

The closing plenary session Friday afternoon, "Next Steps," featured Whitehurst, IES's four commissioners, and Robert Granger, chair of the National Board for Education Sciences.

"I'll see you all back next year," Whitehurst concluded.

IES Grantee Receives Presidential Award

Laura JusticeLaura Justice (University of Virginia). a National Center for Education Research (NCER) grantee, has been named a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. The Presidential Early Career Award is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on early-career scientists and engineers. This is the first year that the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) has been included among the science agencies eligible to participate in the award program. Dr. Justice is the principal investigator for three IES grants—Print Referencing Efficacy, The Language-Focused Curriculum, Conversational Responsiveness Preschool Intervention—and co-principal investigator of an IES predoctoral research training program award. On July 26, Dr. Justice joined President Bush, IES Director Russ Whitehurst, NCER Commissioner Lynn Okagaki, Presidential Science Advisor John Marburger, and other award recipients for a ceremony at the White House.

CEC Interviews Special Education Research Commissioner

Read Commissioner Edward Kame'enui's recent interview with the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). The interview elaborated on the role of NCSER within the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), the collaborative agreement between IES and the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) and provided an assessment of the research competitions and initiatives NCSER has carried out to date.

DOVE on the Web is Being Redesigned.

What is it? It's the website for the NCES Data on Vocational Education (DOVE) system, which derives data about vocational education primarily from existing NCES surveys. The site is being redesigned to provide easy access to a wealth of statistics on secondary, postsecondary, and adult technical and career education. It will include tables that provide answers to some of the key questions typically asked about career and technical education at the secondary, postsecondary, and adult education levels. Questions such as: How many high school students take vocational education courses? How many Black, Hispanic, disabled, or other special interest students take vocational education courses? How many postsecondary students are enrolled in nursing programs? How many schools offer programs in culinary arts? Have enrollments in vocational education been increasing or decreasing in recent years?

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