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August 2007

What's New

IES Awards New Contract for the What Works Clearinghouse

In June, IES awarded a five-year contract to Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. of Princeton, NJ, for operation and expansion of the What Works Clearinghouse. The WWC will continue systematic, evidence-based reviews of research on educational interventions. Noteworthy in the new contract will be the addition of a focus on programs for students with disabilities. Other new features will include a national registry of ongoing randomized controlled trials of education interventions, fast-response systematic reviews, and new formats for reports.

New Issues & Answers Reports From the RELs

The RELs are having a productive summer, with the recent release of 16 new Issues & Answers reports. Issues & Answers is a continuing series of reports from Fast Response Projects dealing with current education issues of importance at local, state, and regional levels. REL Southwest, for example, issued a series of Aligning science assessment standards reports to help policymakers in Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Oklahoma who may be interested in aligning state assessments with the NAEP. Other reports include The students with disabilities subgroup and adequate yearly progress in Mid-Atlantic Region schools, Supplemental educational services and implementation challenges in the Northwest region states, English language proficiency assessment in the Pacific region, and High school standards and expectations for college and the workplace in the Central Region. To find out about these and other new REL reports and other recent REL activities, visit the REL home page at

New Online Search Tools Available

IES has funded more than 425 research grants during the past five years, and now you can search for them in one convenient location on the IES website. A new web tool, which can be accessed at, offers a variety of straightforward search options. An additional search tool allows potential applicants to use the interactive "Locate Grant Application Topics" tool to help find the current IES research topics that are most appropriate for their research interests. The tool, accessed at, is intended as a preliminary guide to help applicants focus on the most appropriate topic areas within the current research grant RFAs from NCER and NCSER. After applicants use the tool to select a topic, they are taken to the appropriate section of the NCER or NCSER RFA in PDF format.

High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 Underway

As with previous longitudinal studies, HSLS:09 will survey a nationally representative sample of high school students, their parents, teachers, and school administrators at several points during students' secondary and postsecondary years. But unlike previous studies, HSLS:09 will collect data from students in the fall of 9th grade, a crucial transition year for most students and a critical grade in determining what will happen to them in high school. The second round of data collection will occur at the end of 11th grade in 2012, when most of the students will be completing their junior year. The new schedule will allow researchers and policymakers to learn if and how 9th-grade plans are linked to students' subsequent behavior, from coursetaking to postsecondary choices, and how these plans evolve over time. In subsequent waves of data collection, the sample members will be followed into college and beyond.

13 States Awarded Grants for Longitudinal Data Systems

IES recently awarded grants that total $62.2 million over three years to 13 state education departments for the design and implementation of statewide longitudinal data systems. Intended to help the states generate and use accurate and timely data to meet reporting requirements, support decision-making, and aid education research, the grants range from $3.2 million to $6 million. In line with the goals of No Child Left Behind to use scientifically based research data to improve education, the data systems developed with these grants will help states, districts, schools, and teachers make data-driven decisions to improve student learning, as well as facilitate research to increase student achievement and close achievement gaps. For more information: