A r c h i v e d I n f o r m a t i o n
FY 1999 Annual Plan - Volume 1. Objective Performance Plans and Data Quality - February 27, 1998
Objective 4.3. An up-to-date knowledge base is available from education research to support education reform and equity.
Context: To help all children reach high academic standards and prepare for postsecondary education, productive careers, and lifelong learning, the education community needs up-to-date and effective research-based information on well-tested models, products, and strategies for improving educational achievement at all levels.
Key strategies for FY 1999
- Financial support for R&D.
- Use the $53.7 million requested for the Department's five National Education Research Institutes to carry out research and development aimed at expanding knowledge and understanding of education and the improvement of education policy and practice.
- Support a new Interagency Research Initiative with a $50 million request, in partnership with the National Science Foundation, that will be designed to improve dramatically the acquisition of reading and mathematics skills at the K-9 levels. Possible topics include preschool cognitive and language development, sustaining early math and reading skills through the elementary school years, and facilitating the transition from mastery of basic skills to critical, abstract thinking.
- Ensure that Department-supported research and development activities meet professional standards by widely promulgating standards and operationalizing them in grant-making, monitoring, and through the peer review process.
- Dissemination and use.
- Improve the availability of education data and research findings through better identification of promising practices and greater use of electronic means to disseminate those practices.
- Establish expert peer panels to designate exemplary or promising educational programs, including educational policies, research findings, practices and products, in such areas as math and science, safe and drug-free schools, educational technology and reading.
- Promote widespread access to sound, well-tested educational knowledge and best practices, and disseminate effective educational policies, programs, practices, and research findings in ways that support state and local school improvement efforts. Prepare and widely distribute a guide to comprehensive school reform models to enable districts and schools to match research-based strategies to their own needs and circumstances.
- Statistics. Increase the use of Department-wide data and statistics on critical education issues for policy development and program improvement by coordinating data collections across general purpose statistical collections, federal program evaluations, and program performance reporting.
- National Science Foundation, National Institute on Child and Human Development. Develop collaborative priorities for education research in areas of national need.
- Health and Human Services, Defense, Justice, Department of Labor, National Science Foundation. Support the Early Childhood Research Working Group in coordinating research priorities and databases.
- Health and Human Services, Agriculture. Implement an early childhood longitudinal study.
Programs supporting this objective
Selected performance indicators and charts
Performance indicators in the Strategic Plan for Objective 4.3 focus on the extent to which Department- supported research, statistics, evaluations, and technical assistance contribute to greater understanding and utilization of good practice and policies. The extent to which states and local school districts perceive that information developed by the Department is useful in their efforts to implement standards-based reform is a key measure of customer satisfaction and potential for affecting improvement efforts.
By 1999, increasing numbers of educators, researchers, policy makers, and parents will report that the Department's research, development and dissemination, and technical assistance activities contribute to educational improvement efforts.
Data source for both figures. "Reports on Reform from the Field: District and State Survey Results." The Urban Institute, Washington, D.C., 1997.
Verification/validation of performance measures: Peer and customer reviews will provide independent validation of research utilization. Independent evaluations using peer review will assess the performance of key providers of research and development. Benchmark studies will compare the Department's research and knowledge development activities against the best in the public and nonprofit sector.