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Politicsscience "Science and politics are both dynamic systems," so I'll stick with President Obama regardless - and besides, education is not a make or break issue.  The Adminstration's Race to the Top, however, embodies politicized "science."

The Science for Policy Project issues level-headed recommendations that federal agencies promulgate rules that would sanction scientists (and social scientists?) "who run afoul of federal, university or journal requirements" regarding conflict of interest. The Bipartisan Policy Center also embraces peer review as "the primary guarantor of integrity in the scientific system." The Project is particularly timely in reminding the education community of the quaint institution of the literature review.

Former Superintendent Duncan was in frequent contact with the Chicago School Consortium which exemplifies the greatness produced by education scholarship. But when was the last time a think tank advocating data-driven "reform" issued research that "strives to develop a sense of the entire body of relevant literature; evaluates the methods that were used in studies; digs, when necessary, beyond the published material, to get a better sense of methods and data?" ... "Or, put another way, a good literature review is an exercise in comparing studies, looking first at the thrust of a body of literature and how broadly and well founded its conclusions are."

Brookings_panel01 When is the last time that the accountability hawks who drive RttT included in a "study" a respect for the research of Richard Rothstein, David Berliner, James Heckman, or heaven forbid, Gerald Bracey who calls for peer review for tests being used for purposes they were not designed for?

Speaking of Bracey, there is an interesting discussion at EDDRA over the comments on the Federal Register regarding the psuedo-science that informs RttT, as well as "assine" Title II mandates on "teacher quality" and equity being made this summer.  Similarly, Grover Whitehurst (formerly of the What Works Clearinghouse) is voicing concerns that Secretary Duncan has mandated policies under RttT that should be execised by Congress. - John Thompson 


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John -

You're right on the money - the (ab)use of research at ED related to Stimulus Phase 2 and RttT is scandalous. I tracked down all the teacher quality citations from the July announcement and they fell into two categories - they were either opinion pieces rather than serious research, or in fact supported a position that was different from the one they were cited for.

It would be better if they just said, "we've made political decisions here - we're anticipating what Congress will support, and what we will be able to hash out with the unions."
Steve Andrews

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