U.S. Department of Education: Promoting Educational Excellence for all Americans
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Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Summary — February 14, 2011


Section II. F.  Institute of Education Sciences


The Institute of Education Sciences (IES) supports sustained programs of research, evaluation, and statistics to provide solutions to the problems and challenges faced by schools and learners. Investment in research and statistics activities is critical in order to identify effective instructional and program practices, track student achievement, and measure the impact of educational reform. Through its four centers—the National Center for Education Research, the National Center for Education Statistics, the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, and the National Center for Special Education Research—IES ensures that the Federal investment in education research, statistics, and evaluation is well-managed and relevant to the needs of educators and policymakers.

For 2012, the Administration is seeking $760.5 million for IES activities, an increase of $101.5 million over the 2011 CR level. This request would enable IES to award up to $40 million in new research and development grants in early learning and elementary, secondary, and postsecondary education and to initiate several new evaluations of interventions to improve college enrollment, persistence, and completion and an evaluation of the Promise Neighborhoods program.

The request also would maintain the Administration's commitment to supporting high quality statistics and assessment programs and to help States improve the quality of longitudinal student data systems. Finally, the request would be used to award new contracts for the Regional Educational Laboratories (REL) program to expand and strengthen the Department's technical assistance to States and districts.

Research, Development, and Dissemination

  2010 2011 CR 2012
B.A. in millions $200.2 $200.2 $260.4

The request includes an increase of $60.2 million over the 2011 CR level, or 30 percent, to support critical investments in education research, development, dissemination, and evaluation that provide parents, teachers, and schools with evidence-based information on effective educational practice. The request would fund additional awards under existing programs of research and development in areas where our knowledge of learning and instruction is inadequate. New funding also would support, as part of the Administration's government-wide initiative to strengthen program evaluation, evaluations of efforts to expand college access and completion and the Promise Neighborhoods program.


  2010 2011 CR 2012
B.A. in millions $108.5 $108.5 $117.0

The Department's statistics programs—operated primarily through competitively awarded contracts administered by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)—provide general statistics about trends in education, collect data to monitor reform and measure educational progress, and inform the IES research agenda. The 2012 request, which includes an increase of $8.5 million over the 2011 CR level, would support the collection, analysis, and dissemination of education-related statistics in response both to legislative requirements and to the particular needs of data providers, data users, and educational researchers. The increase would allow NCES to undertake its first study of sub-baccalaureate education and training for adults (training that provides workplace certifications and licenses), provide fall testing for the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study to study summer learning loss, and develop enhanced reporting and data tools that will improve access to and usability of NCES data.

Regional Educational Laboratories

  2010 2011 CR 2012
B.A. in millions $70.7 $70.7 $69.7

The requested funds would be used to award new 5-year REL contracts that would continue the important work of the RELs in providing a bridge between education research and practice. Key priorities include providing technical assistance on performing data analysis functions, evaluating programs, and using data from State longitudinal data systems for research and evaluation that addresses important issues of policy and practice. The $1 million decrease proposed for 2012 reflects the completion of funding for the program evaluation.


  2010 2011 CR 2012
B.A. in millions $138.8 $138.8 $143.8

The request would fund the ongoing National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) and the National Assessment Governing Board. NAEP measures and reports on the status of and trends in student learning over time, on a subject-by-subject basis, and makes objective information on student performance available to policymakers, educators, parents, and the public. NAEP is the only nationally representative and continuing assessment of what American students know and can do, and it has become a key measure of our Nation's educational performance. NAEP activities are conducted through competitively awarded contracts.

At the request level, the Department plans to conduct a 2012 grade 12 economics assessment and a long-term trend assessment that follows the progress of reading and mathematics achievement for the Nation's 9-, 12-, and 17-year-old students. The request also would fund preparations for future assessments and for continued analysis and reporting of assessments conducted prior to 2012, as well as a special study on the meaning of NAEP score gains.

Research in Special Education

  2010 2011 CR 2012
B.A. in millions $71.1 $71.1 $58.1

This program supports discretionary grants and contracts for research to address gaps in scientific knowledge in order to improve special education and early intervention services for infants, toddlers, and children with disabilities. The requested funds would support new programs of research on families of children with disabilities and technology for special education, as well as ongoing programs of research, including research intended to improve the developmental outcomes and school readiness of infants, toddlers, and young children with disabilities; to improve educational outcomes in core subject areas for children with disabilities; and to improve social and behavioral outcomes. The 2012 request would allow the Department to fund all research grant applications that meet IES research quality standards.

Statewide Data Systems

  2010 2011 CR 2012
B.A. in millions $58.3 $58.3 $100.0

This program supports competitive awards to State educational agencies to foster the design, development, and implementation of longitudinal data systems that enable States to use data on student learning, teacher performance, and college- and career-readiness to enhance the provision of education and close achievement gaps. Most of the funding requested would support new awards to States that would allow them to continue to expand and improve their data systems, including linkages between elementary, secondary, postsecondary, and workforce data systems. In addition, up to $15 million would be used for awards to public or private agencies and organizations to support activities to improve data coordination, quality, and use at the local, State, and national levels.

Special Education Studies and Evaluations

  2010 2011 CR 2012
B.A. in millions $11.5 $11.5 $11.5

This program supports competitive grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements to assess the implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the effectiveness of State and local efforts to provide special education and early intervention programs and services to infants, toddlers, and children with disabilities. The request would support a new study of outcomes from preschool special education and provide continued support for studies of transition and learning outcomes for students with disabilities and promising teacher preparation for teachers of students with disabilities. Funds also would be used for the required national assessment of activities supported with Federal special education funds and other ongoing studies and evaluations of special education.

Higher Education Programs  Table of contents  Programs Proposed for Consolidation or Elimination

For further information contact the ED Budget Service.

This page last modified—February 14, 2011 (mjj).