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May 2008

What's New

What Works Clearinghouse Debuts WWC Quick Review Reports

On May 6, the What Works Clearinghouse released a new type of evidence report, the WWC Quick Review. Designed to provide education practitioners and policymakers with an objective assessment of the quality of the research evidence from a research paper or report whose public release is reported in a major national news source, the intent of the quick review is to rate whether the research described in the report or article is consistent with WWC evidence standards. The first three WWC Quick Reviews can be found at:

New Issues & Answers Reports

The Regional Educational Laboratory Program (REL) has released nine new Issues & Answers reports since January. 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 Central, for example, recently released What states can learn about state standards and assessment systems from No Child Left Behind documents and interviews with Central Region assessment directors. The study describes the No Child Left Behind requirements for state standards and assessment systems. It examined official documents and peer review decision letters and included interviews with state assessment directors in the Central Region to highlight the challenges states face in developing and implementing approved systems. Other recent reports include Piloting a searchable database of dropout prevention programs in nine low-income urban school districts in the Northeast and Islands Region, along with Alternate assessments for special education students in the Southwest Region states, and Course-taking patterns and preparation for postsecondary education in California's public university systems among minority youth (REL West). To find out about these and other REL reports and activities, visit the REL home page at

2008 Research Conference

It's almost time for the Institute's third annual research conference for IES grant and contract awardees. Organized around the theme Education Research: What's Now? What's Next?, the conference will be held June 10-12 in Washington, DC, and represents the broadest assemblage of grant and contract recipients conducting education research funded by IES. Last year's conference was attended by over 700 researchers, and this year's attendance will surpass that mark. This year's conference features plenary presentations by IES Director Whitehurst and award-winning science writer Gary Taubes. Attendees can look forward to 18 panel sessions, some 350 poster presentations, and many opportunities for dialogue and collaboration during the three-day conference.

National Board for Education Sciences

In January, Robert C. Granger was elected chairman of the National Board for Education Sciences, the advisory panel of IES, and three current board members were reappointed for new terms. Granger, who also serves as the president of the New York City-based William T. Grant Foundation, had previously served as NBES chair from February 2005 until January 2007. He succeeds Craig T. Ramey, director of Georgetown University's Center for Health and Education, whose term expired in March. Beth Ann Bryan, senior education advisor to the law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, was elected vice chairman of the board. The three board members reappointed to new terms that extend until November 2011 are Sally E. Shaywitz, Frank Philip Handy, and Jonathan Baron. The NBES is made up of prominent researchers, school administrators and business executives. All board members are presidentially nominated, confirmed by the U.S. Senate, and sworn in by the Secretary of Education.