Congress Must Advance the Ed. Sciences Reform Act

By Michele McLaughlin & Wes Hoover

With an education policy debate that seems as divided as ever, Congress has reached a crossroads. Practically every major federal education law is overdue for reauthorization, and, while reasonable people may not always agree on how to improve education in this country, there has been tremendous progress in research that measures the impact of new policies and practices. There is also broad support for a vigorous federal role in education research. Lawmakers should take notice of this bright spot in American education and seize the occasion to pass legislation promoting evidence-based practices.

Both the House and the Senate education committees have conducted hearings on the Higher Education Act. Revisions of the No Child Left Behind law (the current version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act) and the Workforce Investment Act have been brought to the floor of the House of Representatives. Leaders in the Senate promise to do the same, but haven’t taken action yet. Meanwhile, a host of other programs—including the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, the Child Care Development Block Grant, and the Head Start Act—await action.

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