Performance Highlights | Goal 4:
Transform education into an evidence-based field
"Data is our best management tool," said Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings. In highlighting the importance of relevant research to the Department of Education, she continued, "I often say that what gets measured, gets done. If we know the contours of the problem, and who is affected, we can put forward a solution. Teachers can adjust lesson plans. Administrators can evaluate curricula. Data can inform decisionmaking." During the past year, the Department continued to ensure the highest quality and relevance of research funded and conducted by the Department, so that ultimately the development and dissemination of research results informs and improves teacher instruction and student achievement.
Key Results for Goal 4
- The National Center for Special Education Research was launched in 2005 with the President's signing of the reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The center supports a program of research that addresses a wide range of issues in special education. In 2005, the center initiated a national study on alternate assessments. In addition to this evaluation, the center announced 10 special education research competitions.
- The Department's What Works Clearinghouse published a review of the available research on the effectiveness of curriculum-based interventions for improving mathematics achievement for middle school students. From a systematic review of published and unpublished research, the What Works Clearinghouse identified 10 studies that met the clearinghouse's standards of evidence. These studies examined the effects of five middle school mathematics interventions.
Areas of Focus
- In providing information on the condition and progress of education in the United States, the Department is committed to increasing the timeliness and quality of data collection and reporting. With timely and relevant results, the Department will ensure that practitioners, policymakers, and the public can promptly translate research results into educational practice and improvement.
- The What Works Clearinghouse topic reviews, which identify studies of the effectiveness of educational interventions will be expanded. The Department has begun reviewing studies in six new areas: beginning reading, character education, early childhood education, elementary school mathematics, English language learners, and dropout prevention.