Thursday, July 8, 2010

Imprressive Research Conference but...

Connecting research, policy and practice at IES Research conference --- We hung out at the Institute of Education Sciences' annual research conference a week ago. It was a far cry from the first small gathering five years. This one was large (over 1200 grantees and others), with very high production values and important presentations and conversations. Here are five quick observations:

Easton's vision --- In his keynote speech the IES director hit all the right points in presenting his vision and soon-to-be-released proposed research priorities focusing on the interrelationships among research, policy, and practice.

Duncan gets closer --- While the Secretary has always been strong in connecting R&D, innovation and high performance for America's long term economic competitiveness, until his opening comments at this conference he has been weak in making the same connections for education. But this time he was eloquent in repeatedly characterizing research as "the compass for education reform". We thought this was a breakthrough of sorts.

Most frequently heard words --- Use, partnership, relevance, rigor, practice to research.

Least frequently heard word --- Innovation

Biggest concern --- How and how soon will IES staff begin to implement Easton's vision?

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