FY 2001 Budget Summary - February 2000

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 supports a wide range of research, development, and dissemination activities; the statistics and assessment programs of the National Center for Education Statistics; and a variety of grant programs to enhance teacher training and student learning, including programs that promote effective use of educational technology. The budget request for OERI activities in 2001 is $745.6 million, a decrease of $78.8 million from the fiscal year 2000 appropriation. Most of the proposed decrease reflects the large number of one-year projects earmarked in the fiscal year 2000 appropriations act that no longer require funding in 2001, and the request includes significant increases for activities that support the primary mission of OERI.

An increase of $30 million for research, development, and dissemination would allow support for high priority research projects to bring considerably more knowledge from research to bear on education reform efforts and help large numbers of children meet new and challenging standards. An important component of the 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 2001 request would double Department of Education funding to $20 million for this Initiative, which is supporting research to better understand what works and to design more effective practices for schools and classrooms.

The 2001 budget for research also would double funding for a special initiative on improving schooling for language-minority students, provide resources to ensure that dissemination remains an integral part of all of OERI?s activities, and support both the Educational Resources Information Center and the National Library of Education.

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 2001 request for statistics and assessment includes an increase of $16 million to implement the redesign of the postsecondary education data systems, to support a national study of higher education expenditures, and carry out data collections that will provide longitudinal information on the cognitive development and educational experiences of young children and on high school students.

[TOP] Research, Development, and Dissemination
(BA in millions)

  1999 2000 2001
Research, development and dissemination---- $198.6
National education research institutes$63.8$84.8--
Regional educational laboratories61.065.0--
National dissemination activities18.8

The Department of Education proposes a fiscal year 2001 budget of $198.6 million for education research, development, and dissemination sponsored by the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, an increase of $30 million over the 2000 appropriation level. The request would support university-based centers that 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, directed research and development projects, 10 regional educational laboratories, dissemination activities, and a variety of other research and related projects that address issues of national significance.

OERI proposes to continue its efforts to increase the quality of research in education through a variety of strategies: engaging in better research planning, strengthening peer review, and partnering with other agencies to tap new knowledge and research capacity. Activities include:

Improving Achievement in the Core Subject Areas. The Department is proposing a $10 million increase for the Interagency Education Research Initiative?a collaborative effort between the Department of Education, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). This Initiative is building a knowledge base for improving educational practice by fostering innovative research on basic learning, teaching, and organizational mechanisms and developing sustainable and scalable interventions in education. The goal of the Initiative is to improve pre-K through grade 12 student learning and achievement in reading, mathematics and science by supporting rigorous, interdisciplinary research on large-scale interventions of promising practices and technologies in complex and varied learning environments. The work is intended to benefit students who, early on, are deemed to be at risk of school failure and who fail to acquire the higher-level skills needed to compete in the technology-driven workplaces of the 21st century.

Improving Learning for Language-Minority Students. In fiscal year 2000, the Department announced a major interagency research effort, in conjunction with NICHD, aimed at identifying critical factors that influence the development of English-language literacy (reading and writing) competencies among children whose first language is Spanish. The 2001 request includes $10 million to continue support for this project and to fund other related activities.

Comprehensive School Reform. OERI would continue to support the design, development, evaluation, and scaling-up of comprehensive school reform models for middle and high schools that incorporate the best research-based components and practices available. A new research program would take an objective look at existing school reform models and strategies. One goal is to understand the circumstances under which these models are most likely to contribute to sustained improvements in schools.

Regional Educational Laboratories. 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.

Dissemination Activities. These activities give educators across the Nation ready access to the best information and methods drawn from educational research and development. Funds support 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. The request for dissemination also helps pay for 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.

[TOP] Statistics

  1999 2000 2001
BA in millions$68.0$68.0$84.0

The 2001 request includes a $16 million or 24 percent increase to support the regular data collection, analysis, and reporting activities of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), as well as to implement requirements of the Higher Education Act. 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 trends in education, collect data to monitor reform and progress toward the National Education Goals, and inform 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 support more efficient data collection and produce information that is more useful for parents, teachers, administrators, and policymakers.

The request supports the Congressionally mandated redesign of the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, including the addition of new elements such as student budgets; rates of receipt, and average amounts received for Federal, State, and institutional grants and loans; expenditures by institutions for salaries and benefits; and expenditures for academic support services and research. The increase also will support an HEA-mandated study of expenditures at institutions of higher education.

In addition, the increase will help fund the Birth Cohort of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, which will chronicle the physical, cognitive, and socio-emotional development of a sample of children born in 2000, following them from birth to age 6. Data from the survey will inform child development practices and policies regarding child-care and early learning programs. The request also increases funding for the Education Longitudinal Study of 2002, which will provide information on the cognitive growth, high school completion, and postsecondary education experience of high school students in the first decade of the new millennium.

[TOP] Assessment

  1999 2000 2001
BA in millions$40.0$40.0$42.5

The 2001 request includes a $2.5 million increase for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), the only source of nationally representative data for assessing and reporting progress toward the National Education Goal of ensuring student competency over challenging subject matter.

The 2001 budget will help pay for reporting the results of NAEP 2000, which will produce critical decennial benchmarks in mathematics and science for participating States and the Nation. The request also will support NAEP 2001, which will include national assessments in U.S. history and geography.

In addition, the request will support continued State and local participation by providing additional support for States and schools in analyzing and using NAEP data for improving instructional programs, benchmarking NAEP with State assessments, and developing new products and services for schools using NAEP findings.

The budget provides additional funding for the operational, programmatic, and advisory functions of the National Assessment Governing Board.

[TOP] America?s Tests

  1999 2000 2001
BA in millions----$5.0

The request, which is based on proposed legislation, includes $5 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 complete test item development and move forward with plans for pilot testing, field testing, and administration. In prior years, funding for America?s Tests was provided through the Fund for the Improvement of Education.

[TOP] Fund for the Improvement of Education

  1999 2000 2001
BA in millions$139.0$243.9$137.2

This program supports a wide variety of activities aimed at stimulating reform and improving teaching and learning. The request includes support for several on-going activities in 2001: the Comprehensive School Reform Demonstration program (see Elementary and Secondary Education); the Elementary School Counseling Program; Character Education Partnership Grants; and the District of Columbia Public Schools Initiative. Funds are also requested for a College Test Preparation initiative to provide funding for school districts and schools to pay the costs of rigorous preparation programs for poor students.

[TOP] Javits Gifted and Talented Education

  1999 2000 2001
BA in millions$6.5$6.5$7.5

The request includes an increase of $1 million 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 2001 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. Funds will also support the National Center for Research and Development in the Education of Gifted and Talented Children and Youth. In 1999, 89 percent of participants in Center workshops reported that the information they received improved their understanding of high quality gifted and talented education for traditionally underserved populations of gifted students and 76 percent reported that the Center provided information useful in implementing educational methods for gifted students.

[TOP] National Writing Project

  1999 2000 2001
BA in millions$7.0$9.0$10.0

The 2001 request will increase support for the National Writing Project, a nationwide program aimed at improving the teaching and learning 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 2001 will support efforts to provide teacher training in every State and geographic area and expand the use of technology to disseminate information on the National Writing Project.

[TOP] Civic Education

  1999 2000 2001
BA in millions$7.5$9.85$9.85

The Civic Education program 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 for Civic Education?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 sponsors mock congressional hearings and a national competition of such hearings for secondary school students.

[TOP] International Education Exchange

  1999 2000 2001
BA in millions$7.0$7.0$8.0

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 2001 request would expand support for these activities.

[TOP] Next Generation Technology Innovation
(BA in millions)

  1999 2000 2001
Next generation technology innovation----$170.0
Technology innovation challenge grants$115.1$146.3--
Star Schools45.0

The Next Generation Technology Innovation program will expand knowledge about, and develop new applications of, educational technologies and telecommunications for teaching and learning. The program replaces the Technology Innovation Challenge Grants and the Star Schools programs and builds on the successes of these programs by developing and expanding cutting-edge technologies to improve education. The program will encourage the use of technology such as Web-based instruction to provide access to challenging content.

Three competitions for new awards are proposed for FY 2001: Advanced Technology Applications, the Mississippi Delta Initiative, and Challenging Coursework On-Line.

Advanced Technology Application awards will support research and development initiatives that advance state-of-the-art educational technology applications. The Mississippi Delta Initiative is a targeted demonstration project to provide training to middle school teachers in the Mississippi Delta region. The Challenging Coursework On-Line initiative will support the development of high quality, Web-based Advanced Placement, second language learning, and other challenging courses to help ensure that high school students in poor rural and inner-city schools have access to challenging coursework.

[TOP] Regional Technology in Education Consortia

  1999 2000 2001
BA in millions$10.0$10.0$10.0

This program supports 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] Technology Leadership Activities

  1999 2000 2001
BA in millions$2.0$2.0$2.0

The 2001 request includes $2 million 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 strengthen evaluation of the effectiveness of technology programs and to bring together public and private entities to help schools and communities effectively use all available resources in technology and education.

[TOP] Ready to Learn Digital Television

  1999 2000 2001
BA in millions$11.0$16.0$16.0

The request would support the development of educational programming centered on school readiness, as well as local educational and community outreach activities such as workshops, distribution of children?s books, and collaboration with local organizations.

[TOP] Telecommunications Program for Professional Development

  1999 2000 2001
BA in millions$5.0$8.5$5.0

This program?proposed as part of the Administration?s ESEA reauthorization bill?would expand the currently funded Telecommunications Demonstration Project for Mathematics program to promote excellent teaching in all core subject areas. The program funds the use of telecommunications to support sustained professional development and teacher networks that train teachers to help all students achieve State content standards.

[TOP] National Activities for the Improvement of Teaching and School Leadership
(BA in millions)

  1999 2000 2001
National activities for the improvement of
    teaching and school leadership
Eisenhower professional development
   Federal activities

This program—proposed as part of the Administration?s ESEA reauthorization bill—would support nationally significant activities that promote long-term improvement in professional development. The 2001 request includes an increase of $1.7 million over the predecessor Eisenhower Federal Activities program to fund recommendations and activities resulting from the National Commission on Mathematics and Science Teaching for the 21st Century. The Commission, which is chaired by former U.S. Senator John Glenn, will report its findings in fall 2000, and the requested increase would permit the Department to respond quickly to improve the quality of mathematics and science teaching in all of the Nation?s classrooms.

The budget also provides for ongoing activities of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, which administers a voluntary assessment and certification process for teachers based on national standards of excellence. 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 Clearinghouse, a vital resource of professional development materials for educators in mathematics and science education.

[TOP] Eisenhower Regional Mathematics and Science Education Consortia

  1999 2000 2001
BA in millions$15.0$15.0$15.0

The request includes level funding to permit regional math and science consortia to continue their ongoing assistance to States and high-need local educational agencies. The consortia will continue collaborative efforts with the Eisenhower National Clearinghouse to disseminate information and resources, such as the Third International Mathematics and Science Study, NSF-developed curriculum materials, and programs identified by the Department?s expert panel. Through these efforts, the consortia support key strategies outlined in the Action Strategy developed by the Department and the National Science Foundation (NSF), including the emphasis on high-quality, standards-based math in grades 5-8 and the strategic use of all resources to improve teaching and learning.

Direct any questions to Martha Jacobs, Budget Service


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