House Subcommittee holds hearing on education research

The Department of Education's budget includes less than one percent investment in research and dissemination
On November 17, the Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Subcommittee of the House Education and Labor Committee held its first hearing on reauthorizing the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), part of the Department of Education. In opening the hearing, Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-CA) said, “We are here today to discuss the value of education research, explore the appropriate level of federal involvement, and examine ways to improve current law to provide more immediate and relevant data to parents and educators.” In his testimony before the committee, former IES Director and psychologist Grover “Russ” Whitehurst called for increased federal investments in education research, saying that the American people “get what they pay for” in terms of education research. Compared to the budget of the Health and Human Services, where budgets for the National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration make up nearly 40 percent of the discretionary budget, the Department of Education’s less than one percent investment in research and dissemination is a challenge to developing a solid research base in education and providing proven strategies to state policymakers and practitioners. Whitehurst and others testifying before the subcommittee encouraged Congress not to make major changes to the original Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002, which was due to be reauthorized in 2008. The complete list of witnesses and their testimony can be found online.