Introduction to the Institute of Education Sciences

Introduction to the Institute of Education Sciences

September 17, 2019 0 By Ronny Jaskolski


The Institute of Education
Sciences, or IES, is the nation’s leading source
for independent nonpartisan research, evaluation, and
statistics about education. A part of the US Department
of Education, IES was established by
Federal law in 2002. Our mission is to provide
high-quality scientific evidence to improve education outcomes
for our nation’s students. Millions of policymakers,
education leaders, teachers, parents, and researchers use
IES statistics, research, and other resources every year. To accomplish its mission, IES
focuses on six areas of work. One, IES provides data to
describe how well the United States is
educating its students. We do this by collecting and
analyzing official statistics on the condition of education. from elementary school
through adult education. and carrying out national
and international assessments of student achievement. such as the National Assessment
of Educational Progress. IES also provides
data sets and tools to support further
analysis of these data. Two, IES conducts nationally
representative surveys and sponsors research
to understand where education
needs improvement and how it might
be accomplished. Some of our surveys can be used
to understand students’ school experiences and
outcomes over time. These can highlight short
and long term trends in student performance. Others capture performance
at a moment in time, providing a snapshot of how
American schools, teachers, or students
are fairing. IES supports research
using these and other data to gain a deeper understanding
of the challenges schools face in the 21st century. Three, IES funds research
on new approaches for improving education
outcomes for all students. Our support for research on
practical innovative solutions covers all stages
of development, from early design
to pilot studies to rigorous testing at scale. IES-funded researchers
are identifying effective strategies
in crucial areas, including instruction,
student behavior, teacher training and
development, technology, and school and
system governance. Four, IES also conducts
large scale evaluations of Federally funded education
programs and policies. Our evaluations are rigorous,
independent, and nonpartisan. They address complex issues
of national importance such as the impact of
alternative pathways to teacher preparation,
educator evaluation systems, school improvement initiatives,
and school choice programs. Five, an important part of
IES’s work is to bolster the use of data and research
in education decision making. The What Works Clearinghouse
conducts impartial rigorous reviews of research to help decision makers
make sense of the evidence. The Regional
Educational Laboratories work with states and districts
to help them learn what works. They also conduct research
on local education problems and provide technical support
to connect education research to classroom practice. And Statewide Longitudinal
Data System grants are helping states
more efficiently track education outcomes and provide
useful, timely information to those who need it. Finally, IES encourages
the advancement of statistics and research
through specialized training and development of
methods and measures. We provide pre-doctoral and
post-doctoral training programs, database training, and short courses on
cutting edge topics for working statisticians
and researchers. Our work on new
methods and measures advances the
accuracy, usefulness, and cost effectiveness
of education data collections and research. IES is composed
of four centers, the National Center for
Education Statistics, the National Center for
Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, the National Center for
Education Research, and the National Center for
Special Education Research that collaborate on this
diverse array of work and share it broadly. A standards and
review office ensures that grant applications and
IES reports and data releases undergo a rigorous, objective,
scientific, peer review process. The development and use of
education statistics, research and evaluation, the work of IES, provides the foundation
for the use of evidence to improve education
in the United States. Visit our website to
learn more about IES and how it connects high quality
statistics, research, and evaluation to
policy and practice. ♪[MUSIC PLAYING]♪