IES Director John Q. Easton delivered welcoming remarks on May 21 at the first conference of the IES-funded National Research and Development Center on Cognition and Science Instruction, urging education researchers "to keep the end goal in mind: improving schools and teaching and learning." The conference, Improving Middle School Science Instruction Using Cognitive Science, featured research presentations and panel discussions on the use of cognitive science principles to improve student learning in science, along with the implications of the research for policy makers and funders. In April, at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA), Director Easton presented on "IES, the Continuous Improvement Initiative, and Having Research Matter." He talked briefly about IES's history and then focused on where IES is headed, highlighting new programs and initiatives that are moving IES toward more research that matters more. These include new research programs on Continuous Improvement Research in Education and on Research-Practitioner Partnerships, as well as the Research and Development Center on Knowledge Utilization.