Rep. Castle’s Education Research Bill Ready for the President’s Signature

U.S. House of Representatives,

Legislation Will Help Implement No Child Left Behind, Close Student Achievement Gap

CONTACT: Heather Valentine or Dave Schnittger (202) 225-4527

October 17, 2002
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Important bipartisan legislation to help students learn reading, mathematics, and other essential skills by improving the quality of education research is now on its way to the President’s desk as a result of action taken by the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday. H.R. 3801, the Education Sciences Reform Act, is widely viewed as an essential counterpart to the recently enacted No Child Left Behind law, which was signed into law last January. President Bush is also expected to sign the education research legislation, authored by Education Reform Subcommittee Chairman Mike Castle (R-DE), into law.

By modifying and streamlining education research methods, H.R. 3801 eliminates existing methods that are not held to high standards and replaces them with new, more independent and innovative approaches that are based on coordinated, high quality education research.

“Today, schools invest untold time and resources in one education fad after another. Without sound science to back the claims of increased academic achievement, schools are often disappointed,” said Castle. “And those who suffer most are the very ones we want to help — children achieving below grade level.”

“If we are to lift those students struggling to achieve proficiency in reading, math and science, we must give our educators the information they need to help their diverse classrooms learn,” he continued. “For that to happen, we must expect more from our federal investment in education research — at a minimum, we must expect scientific rigor and we must ensure that ‘what works’ in education transforms classroom practice.”

H.R. 3801 builds on the success of President Bush’s No Child Left Behind law, which requires accountability and high academic achievement from our students. It requires all federally funded research activities to meet high standards of quality (by including a definition of scientifically based research standards consistent with definitions in the No Child Left Behind law). The legislation also ensures that research priorities are driven by the needs of parents, teachers, and school administrators — not political pressure — and focuses on solving key academic problems.

By replacing the current Office of Educational Research and Improvement with a new, more autonomous Academy of Education Sciences, the bill enhances efforts to coordinate and improve federal research — ensuring better results for our children. The bill also creates three separate centers under the academy – one for research, evaluation, and statistics, guaranteeing more autonomous research.

“The reauthorization of the Office of Educational Research and Improvement has been stalled in Congress for more than three years. I want to commend Rep. Castle for his leadership on this issue,” said Rep. John Boehner (R-OH), chairman of the Education & the Workforce Committee. “Without his hard work, we would not be sending this legislation to the President for his signature. Providing high quality, scientifically based education research is vital if we are to improve our nation’s schools. This legislation, coupled with the new education reforms, will give every child a chance to receive a quality education.”