FY 2000 Budget Summary - February 1999

Section F - Educational Research and Improvement


[Top] Overview

The Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI) provides essential support for the improvement of American education by building knowledge about teaching and learning and by helping to stimulate improvements in education policy and practice. OERI-supported activities include the research and development programs of the five National Research Institutes; the applied research, development, and technical assistance activities of the 10 Regional Educational Laboratories; dissemination activities and the National Library of Education; and the statistics and assessment programs of the National Center for Education Statistics. The budget request for OERI activities in 2000 is $1.4 billion, an increase of $498 million over the 1999 appropriation.

This total includes a $400 million increase for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program to support approximately 2,000 new grants to school districts for after-school programs and provide services to over one million students. These centers provide academic and recreational services in a safe, constructive environment during after-school, weekend, and summer hours. New awards will support activities such as tutoring and summer school to help educationally at-risk students to meet challenging State and local standards.

An increase of $45 million for new research activities will help meet the growing demand by parents, teachers, and administrators for specific guidance based on reliable data. These research projects will combine rigorous methodology with sustained and multidisciplinary partnerships. Such a strategy—which endeavors to bring knowledge from research to the forefront of education reform—holds great promise for helping large numbers of children meet new and challenging standards. An important component of the new research strategy is the Interagency Education Research Initiative—a collaborative effort between the Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The Initiative will fund research, including large-scale studies, to better understand what works and how to design more effective practical policies for schools and classrooms.

Complementing the research program, the statistics and assessment programs support systematic, regular data collection to provide the information needed to make decisions about education policy and measure the impact of State and local reforms that change what students study, how they are taught, and how their performance is measured. The increases for statistics and assessment will be used to implement several studies mandated by the Higher Education Act and to redesign some existing data collection instruments.

In addition, direct grant programs support demonstrations and other activities that serve the OERI mission of building knowledge and sharing successful strategies. The educational technology programs are demonstrating new and effective ways to use technology to enhance teacher training and student learning. These programs are connecting students and teachers across the nation and developing models that other schools can adopt. Other proposals focus on improving mathematics instruction, particularly in the middle grades.

[Top] National Education Research Institutes

  1998 1999 2000
BA in millions $53.8 $63.8 $108.8

The Department of Education proposes a fiscal year 2000 budget of $108.8 million for education research sponsored by the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, an increase of $45 million over the 1999 appropriation level. Current funding supports university-based research and development centers, which conduct long-term research and development on core issues and concerns; field-initiated studies in which the topics and methods of study are determined by the individual investigators; and a variety of other research and related projects that address issues specified by OERI?s five national education institutes. The requested increase will support new research that will help meet the growing demand by parents, teachers, and administrators for specific evidence-based guidance. The new activities will combine rigorous methodology with sustained multidisciplinary partnerships and will include large-scale implementation studies.

Technology to Improve Achievement in Reading and Math. Approximately $25 million of the requested increase will support the Interagency Education Research Initiative—initiated this year as a collaborative effort between the Department of Education, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). The goal of this research effort is to ensure that (1) all children come to school ready to learn reading and mathematics; (2) all children acquire the foundations of mathematics and reading in grades K-3; and (3) all teachers (K-12) have the content and pedagogic skills to teach reading, mathematics, and science. Particular attention will be given to the use of information and computer technologies to promote improvements in teaching and learning.

Other new research activities include:

Comprehensive School Reform Design. If the implementation of comprehensive reform is to be successful, it is critical that the design fit the circumstances of the school setting and the learning demands of students and families. The ultimate goal of this research project is to enhance current designs, bring new and stronger evidence into play, and develop new or stronger design components in order to help school systems implement more challenging standards of learning for all of their children.

Reading in English for Spanish Speakers. Latino children are twice as likely as non-Latino whites to read significantly below expectations based upon age. Despite what has been learned about reading development, reading difficulties, and reading instruction in the English-speaking population, comprehensive studies of reading acquisition with Latino children with limited English proficiency have yet to be conducted. OERI and NICHD propose to undertake a joint research and development program that will build a better demographic and skill knowledge base and develop designs to improve instruction for Latino students and preparation for their teachers.

Adolescent and Adult Literacy-Catching Up and Filling In. According to the 1996 NAEP Reading Assessment, 19 percent of 17-year-old students in the U.S. cannot search successfully for specific information, interrelate ideas, and make generalizations. Proposed research will focus on building a more substantial knowledge base for helping middle school and high school students and young adults catch up in reading and writing ability.

Technology Tools for the Classroom. Funds will be used to develop and integrate into classrooms the software and resources needed to make new technologies part of everyday teaching. Because computers and related technologies make it possible to generate a tremendous amount of information in real time for teachers and students, research and development will also focus on developing technology-enabled assessment systems.

[Top] Regional Educational Laboratories

  1998 1999 2000
BA in millions $56.0 $61.0 $65.0

The regional laboratories promote knowledge-based school improvement to help all students meet high standards, with an emphasis on helping districts and schools serving high concentrations of low-income children. This mission is carried out through extensive programs of applied research and development designed to assist educators and policymakers in their efforts to implement effective school reforms. The laboratories test new approaches to teaching and learning, provide training and technical assistance to teachers, administrators, and policymakers, and disseminate research findings about what works with diverse student groups under a variety of conditions. In addition to providing services to meet regional needs, each laboratory conducts basic and applied research, dissemination, and technical assistance in a designated specialty area.

The 2000 request maintains support for the ongoing activities of the regional laboratories, including those related to the Demonstrations of Comprehensive School Reform (see Elementary and Secondary Education). The request also provides an increase to allow the laboratories, in their final contract year, to assist States and school districts in adopting the programs and strategies developed during the contract period.

[Top] National Dissemination Activities

  1998 1999 2000
BA in millions $18.8 $18.8 $24.5

This program gives educators across the Nation ready access to the best information and methods drawn from educational research and development. Major activities include the Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC), which contains an extensive body of education-related literature and materials, and the National Library of Education, which provides comprehensive reference services. Funds also support the Department?s award-winning INet and World Wide Web services (www.ed.gov), which provide quick and easy Internet access to Department programs, publications, and related resources.

The Department's Online Library is consistently rated among the best education and government sites and the number of visitors continues to grow, with total usage double that of just a year ago. Funding for electronic dissemination also includes AskERIC, a distributed system of electronic question-answering, referral, and enhancement using a virtual library of responses to customer needs. The demand for these services is expected to increase dramatically as the E-rate helps bring thousands of schools, teachers, and students onto the Internet in the next several years.

The request will also expand the work of the OERI expert panel system, which identifies and disseminates promising and exemplary programs. In 1999 and 2000, recommendations will be made for programs in mathematics, science, and gender equity.

[Top] Statistics

  1998 1999 2000
BA in millions $59.0 $68.0 $77.5

The 2000 request includes a $9.5 million or 14 percent increase to support the systematic, regular data collection, analysis, and reporting activities of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). NCES data are used by local, State, and Federal policymakers to gauge the effects of reforms, measure the return on investments in education, and make decisions about educational policy and planning. In addition, NCES databases and publications are widely used by educators, researchers, and others interested in education.

The request includes funds for a program of statistics that has evolved over the past 10 years in response to legislation, evaluation, and particular data needs and in consultation with education researchers, data providers, and data users. The statistics programs provide general statistics about the condition of, and trends in, education; collect data to monitor reform and progress toward the National Education Goals; and support the research agenda of OERI. NCES also is planning to meet the statistical needs of the future with new technologies, training, data development and analysis, and methodological studies that will make it an even more efficient organization, and its data more useful for parents, teachers, administrators, and policymakers.

More than half of the requested increase will be used to redesign and add new data elements to the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), as required by the recent reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. The new elements include student budgets; rates of receipt, and average amounts received for Federal, State, and institutional grants and loans; expenditures by institutions for salaries and benefits; expenditures for academic support services and research; and data to estimate the cost of institutions? provision of education to students.

The increase also will support new activities aimed at improving understanding of the costs of higher education, including the development of a "market basket" identifying the items comprising the costs of higher education and the dissemination of information on college costs to parents and students.

[Top] Assessment

  1998 1999 2000
BA in millions $35.5 $40.0 $44.5

The 2000 request includes a $4.5 million or 11.3 percent increase for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Data on student achievement are essential for providing the public with reliable information about the condition of American education, and NAEP is the only source of nationally representative data. NAEP is used widely to judge the overall effectiveness of national education improvement efforts and is the primary source of information for assessing and reporting progress toward the National Education Goal of ensuring student competency over challenging subject matter.

The assessment of long-term trends in reading, writing, mathematics, and science will be conducted in 1999. In 2000, national assessments will be conducted in mathematics and science at grades four, eight, and twelve and in reading at grade four, and State assessments will be conducted in mathematics at grades four and eight and in reading at grade four.

The increase would support several new initiatives. The Department plans to link State assessment to NAEP for off-year analysis and reporting, enhance NAEP samples of sub-State reporting, assist States in using NAEP data for program improvement, and build State-level psychometric skills through State/university partnerships. NAEP would also develop its market basket assessment in reading. State NAEP is administered on a 4-year cycle. The market basket assessments permit jurisdictions either to administer the assessment in off-cycle years for independent measures of progress based on national standards or to link their own assessments to NAEP for estimating NAEP scores on an ongoing basis. The budget request supports the development of market basket assessments in reading at grades 4 and 8.

Other fiscal year 2000 activities would include increasing the capacity for reporting usable NAEP data on the Internet and the further exploration of the development of assessment alternatives. The NAEP redesign calls for increased use of computers in all phases of assessment: administration, scoring, and reporting of State and national NAEP.

[Top] Eisenhower Professional Development Federal Activities

  1998 1999 2000
BA in millions $23.3 $23.3 $30.0

This program supports nationally significant activities that promote long-term improvement in professional development. The 2000 request includes an increase of $6.7 million to fund new activities under America Counts, a major new initiative to ensure that students master math fundamentals so that they are prepared to take rigorous mathematics and science courses in high school and college. Funds will support grants to examine what teachers in a district need to know and be able to do to improve student achievement in math, and the professional development needed to bring teachers to that level.

The budget also includes funding for the Department?s five-year plan to support the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, which administers a voluntary assessment and certification process for teachers based on national standards of excellence. Teachers benefit from the opportunity to test and compare their skills against objective, peer-developed criteria for advanced practice, and many States and school districts provide monetary and employment rewards for certification. In addition to $16 million for continued development of standards and assessments in up to 30 specialty areas, the budget includes $2.5 million in teacher subsidies to help certify 105,000 teachers by the year 2006.

Funding will also support the Eisenhower National Mathematics and Science Education Materials Clearinghouse, which provides technical assistance to parents, students, and teachers.

[Top] Fund for the Improvement of Education

  1998 1999 2000
BA in millions $108.1 $147.0 $139.5

This program, known as FIE, supports a wide variety of activities aimed at stimulating reform and improving teaching and learning. FIE also funds (through the States) a portion of the Title I Demonstrations of Comprehensive School Reform (see Elementary and Secondary Education), which provide resources and incentives to apply research findings and strategies to help turn around failing schools.

The request includes several new initiatives for fiscal year 2000. Schools as Centers of Community would provide $10 million to help local school districts plan and design new school buildings that can enhance teaching and learning as well as serve the broader needs of the community. The budget also provides $10 million for planning and implementation grants to help school districts establish satellite Worksite Schools in partnership with local businesses. Children would have the option of attending a public school located at their parents? place of employment in order to promote parental involvement, ease overcrowded schools, and enhance diversity. Troops to Teachers would make available $18 million to help retiring military personnel and other mid-career professionals become teachers in public schools. Additional funds are provided for a new initiative in the area of writing and a project to develop measures of discrimination in the public education system.

The FIE request also includes $16 million to continue development of voluntary national tests in reading and math. Most of the funds would be transferred to the National Assessment Governing Board to support the development and a pilot test of test items and the field testing of test forms. First administration of the tests is scheduled for March 2002, and 2000 funds would not be used for test distribution or administration.

[Top] Javits Gifted and Talented Education

  1998 1999 2000
BA in millions $6.5 $6.5 $6.5

The request includes level funding for this program, which helps demonstrate effective strategies for developing and implementing academic programs for gifted and talented students that can be used to create rich and challenging curricula for all students. A small number of new grant awards in 2000 will place priority on projects serving schools with high concentrations of low-income students and those students who may not be identified and served through traditional methods. A recent study of Javits projects reveals positive outcomes in student achievement and self-esteem, parental involvement, classroom practices, and identification of disadvantaged students as gifted. Funds will also support the National Center for Research and Development in the Education of Gifted and Talented Children and Youth.

[Top] Eisenhower Regional Mathematics and Science Education Consortia

  1998 1999 2000
BA in millions $15.0 $15.0 $17.5

The request includes an increase of $2.5 million to permit regional math and science consortia to expand their technical assistance efforts, especially in high poverty areas. The consortia also will implement key strategies outlined in the Education/National Science Foundation (NSF) Action Strategy, including support and technical assistance for recipients of Eisenhower Federal Activities grants that engage in school leadership development and professional development for teachers. Finally, the consortia will continue collaborative efforts with the Eisenhower National Clearinghouse to disseminate information and resources on the Third International Mathematics and Science Study, NSF-developed curriculum materials, and programs identified by the Department?s expert panel.

[Top] National Writing Project

  1998 1999 2000
BA in millions $5.0 $7.0 $10.0

The 2000 request will increase support for the National Writing Project, a nationwide program aimed at improving student writing abilities by improving the teaching of writing in the Nation?s schools. Improving student writing through high-quality professional development is a priority for the Department as a complement to the Reading Excellence Act initiative. The National Writing Project is an effective "teachers-teaching-teachers" model for recognizing successful practices and promoting exemplary instruction of writing, regardless of subject area. The increase in 2000 will support efforts to provide teacher training in every State and geographic area.

[Top] Civic Education

  1998 1999 2000
BA in millions $5.5 $7.5 $9.5

The request would provide an increase of $2 million for the Civic Education program, which fosters good citizenship and civic responsibility for significant numbers of students while helping them develop an in-depth understanding of the U.S. Constitution. This purpose is accomplished primarily through the Center?s program We the People...The Citizen and the Constitution. In addition to a course of instruction made available to public and private elementary and secondary schools, the program provides, at local request, simulated congressional hearings, and sponsors a national competition of such hearings for secondary school students. Requested funding will support training teachers and State and district coordinators, enable the program to reach greater numbers of students, and provide funds for the production and distribution of a CD ROM product that complements the program.

[Top] International Education Exchange

  1998 1999 2000
BA in millions $5.0 $7.0 $7.0

This program helps support democracy and free market economies in Eastern Europe, the Commonwealth of Independent States, other countries that formerly were part of the Soviet Union, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, and other developing countries. The program provides curricula and teacher training in civics and economics education to educators and other leaders from those countries, as well as the opportunity to exchange ideas and experiences with teachers in the U.S. and other participating countries. The 2000 request would support continuation of grants awarded in 1997 to two independent non-profit organizations with significant expertise in civics education and economic education, respectively.

[Top] 21st Century Community Learning Centers

  1998 1999 2000
BA in millions $40.0 $200.0 $600.0

The 2000 request triples funding for this program to significantly expand Federal support for before- and after-school programs and expand learning opportunities for over one million children. This request, along with proposed matching funds, will help approximately 2,000 districts create or expand some 6,000 school-based centers that provide academic and recreational services to students and other members of the community. Including continuation grants for the centers funded in the 1998 and 1999 competitions, the program would support a total of 7,700 centers.

Demand for school-based programs outstrips supply at a rate of about 2 to 1. In 1998, with $40 million available, the Department received 1,965 applications, requesting over $540 million in funding, and proposing $331 million in matching funds, making this program the most competitive in the Department?s history. An August 1998 national survey funded by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation found that over 90 percent of voters favored providing school-based enrichment programs during after-school hours.

The 2000 competition will give priority to schools working towards the elimination of social promotion, in recognition of the role that Community Learning Centers can play in preventing both social promotion and grade retention by providing such services as tutoring, mentoring, and summer school.

[Top] Technology Innovation Challenge Grants

  1998 1999 2000
BA in millions $106.0 $115.1 $110.0

Technology Innovation Challenge Grants support the development of innovative and effective applications of technology in the classroom. The request would support continuation grants for approximately 100 projects serving low-income school districts. The Challenge Grants program is supporting the National Technology Goals by developing educational uses of technology tied to content and teacher training that can serve as models for States and LEAs throughout the Nation. The program is one of the most competitive in the Department, and leverages millions of dollars in matching contributions and stimulates partnerships among educators, community organizations, business, and industry.

[Top] Regional Technology in Education Consortia

  1998 1999 2000
BA in millions $10.0 $10.0 $10.0

The Department requests level funding for this program, which supports six regional consortia that help States, districts, and schools integrate technology with teaching and learning. Each consortium develops a program of professional development, technical assistance, and dissemination of information that addresses the particular needs of educators and learners in its service area. As more States and schools develop strategic plans and make substantial investments in technology, the consortia provide reliable information and assistance in areas such as teacher training and effective instructional uses of technology.

[Top] Educational Technology National Activities

  1998 1999 2000
Teacher training in technology $75.0 $75.0
Community-based technology 10.0 65.0
Technology leadership activities 2.0 2.0
Middle school teacher training 30.0
Software development initiative

Total 87.0 177.0

The 2000 request includes increased funding for National Activities to support two new initiatives and to continue the 1999 initiatives.

The Department is requesting $30 million for the Middle School Teacher Training initiative, which would support a technology teacher leader in every middle school. In the first year, funds would go to one-third of the Nation?s 14,000 public middle schools, with a preference for schools that are prepared to establish technology literacy requirements. In the second and third years, funding would continue for this first group of schools, and incrementally support the remaining middle schools. Technology literacy may be defined as the ability to apply technology in meeting information needs and developing solutions to real-world problems, building on the necessary basics of reading, writing, and other core subject areas.

The request also provides $5 million for the Software Development initiative. These competitive grants would encourage the development of high-quality educational software and Web sites by middle and high school students in partnership with university faculty, software developers, and experts in educational technology. In its first year, the competition would emphasize mathematics, science, and reading.

The Department requests $2 million Technology Leadership Activities to continue to promote leadership in the field of educational technology and to enhance the impact of the Department?s technology programs. Leadership funds will be used to bring together public and private entities to help schools and communities effectively use all available resources in technology and education.

Teacher Training in Technology is described under the section for the Office of Postsecondary Education. Community-Based Technology Centers is described under the section for the Office of Vocational and Adult Education.

[Top] Star Schools

  1998 1999 2000
BA in millions $34.0 $45.0 $45.0

The Department requests level funding to continue demonstration projects that use distance learning technology to provide instructional programs for students and professional development activities for teachers who otherwise would not have access to such programs and activities. The request will support a new grant competition and continuation of the 1999 and 1997 general education awards, the adult learning and high school completion awards made in 1996, and dissemination, leadership and evaluation activities.

Star Schools projects provide a range of services to teachers, such as video and interactive broadcast training programs, teacher networks, and support materials. In recent years the program has focused more on multiple and cutting-edge technologies, in response to dramatic developments in telecommunications technology. Since its inception, the program has served more than 6,000 schools across the country. More than 2 million students have benefited from instructional programming, and more than 30,000 teachers have completed Star Schools professional development courses and workshops.

[Top] Ready to Learn Television

  1998 1999 2000
BA in millions $7.0 $11.0 $7.0

The request would support the development of educational programming centered on school readiness, as well as local educational and community outreach activities such as materials, workshops, distribution of children?s books, and collaboration with local organizations. In 2000, the existing award to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting will end, and a new award will be made.

[Top] Telecommunications Demonstration Project for Mathematics

  1998 1999 2000
BA in millions $2.0 $5.0 $2.0

This program promotes excellent teaching in mathematics through sustained professional development and teacher networks, using telecommunications to train math teachers to help all students achieve State content standards in mathematics. Funding at this level will support a new award for the development of such training. The current award, for a program called PBS Mathline, delivers professional development through videos and on-line communications, allowing teachers opportunities to learn at times and locations they find convenient and to share ideas and strategies for effective mathematics instruction.

Direct any questions to Martha Jacobs, Budget Service

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