When Research Matters considers the complex and crucially important relationship between education research and policy.
In examining how and under what conditions research affects education policy, the book focuses on a number of critical issues: the history of the federal role in education policy; the evolving nature of educational policy research; the role of research in debates about reading, NCLB, and “out-of-field” teaching; how research affects policy by shaping public opinion, judicial rulings, and the decisions of district and school leaders; and the incentives that help explain the behavior of researchers and policymakers.
Renewed interest in the uses of social science evidence for public policy has prompted a vigorous debate about the quality and utility of education research. The essays in this volume contribute important insights into a range of complex and contested issues. Researchers, policymakers, and consumers of education scholarship need to have this book. — Michael J. Feuer, Executive Director of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education in the National Research Council of the National Academies
The current devotion to ‘scientifically based research’ indicates great faith in the ability of research to influence policy. Yet the policy-research nexus has not been examined in recent years. Ironically, the messy complexities of the research-policy connection don’t lend themselves to the research designs currently in most favor. Therefore, this book fills an important void. Under what circumstances and in
what ways is research influential today? Can we create better incentives and support for the conduct and use of research that is both rigorous and relevant to policy? These and other questions make for fascinating reading. — Susan Fuhrman, President, Teachers College, Columbia University
When Research Matters asks the questions that are rarely asked about the difficult road from research to policy. For the classroom educator, the unevenness of the road from research to policy makes the next leg of the journey—from policy to practice—that much more difficult. This volume gives us all a deeper understanding of the reasons research is often poorly translated into practice. — Pascal D. Forgione Jr., Superintendent of Schools, Austin, Texas