The National Academy of Education is dedicated to advancing high quality research to improve education policy and practice. The Research Advisory Committee (RAC), charged with setting the research agenda for the organization, is instrumental in identifying and developing new research program ideas, and in providing guidance to projects in their early stages of development.

Please contact Amy Berman for research initiative inquiries.

Current Initiatives

2016-annual-meetingReaping the Rewards of the IES Reading for Understanding (RFU) Initiative

The U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) awarded the NAEd a three-year grant to develop insights and implications concerning the IES RFU initiative focused on improving reading comprehension for students in grades pre-K-12. The purpose of the NAEd project is to follow through on the promise of the RFU to make sure that what has been learned from this effort continues to benefit education research and practice. The committee will produce a report, which based on proceedings of the meetings and papers commissioned by the committee, will highlight usable findings from across the projects and provide a foundation for subsequent publications (and possibly other products). 

Study on Comparability of Large-Scale Educational Assessments

The NAEd is engaged in a project funded by Smarter Balanced/University of California Santa Cruz to examine Common Core assessment consortia and other large-scale assessment programs regarding how much and what types of flexibility in assessment content and procedures can be allowed, while maintaining comparability across jurisdictions and student populations.

The Role of Education Research and Practice in Civic Discourse and Reasoning

Funded by the Hewlett Foundation, the NAEd recently launched a new initiative to improve students’ learning in civic reasoning and discourse by ensuring that the pedagogy, curriculum, and learning environments that they experience are informed by the best available evidence. The project will include a workshop, commissioned papers, and summary report that provides a synthesis of findings as well as actionable guidance for policy makers and practitioners.

The steering committee is led by chair Carol Lee and comprised of James Banks, Sarah Freedman, Diana Hess, Joseph Kahne, Peter Levine, Na’ilah Suad Nasir, Walter Parker, and Judith Torney-Purta.

Based on the current state of research in the field and potential for new interdisciplinary linkages, seven working panels will each examine a specific theme, including: (1) psychological foundations (covering identity, human development, implicit bias); (2) history of education for democratic citizenship; (3) philosophical foundations and moral reasoning; (4) ecological context; (5) learning environment, school climate, and other supports for civic engagement; (6) pedagogical practices and how teachers learn; and (7) digital literacy and the health of democratic practice.

Contact Greg White for more information.

Workshop and Edited Volume with the American Academy of Political and Social Science (AAPSS) The ANNALS: What Use is Educational Assessment?

The NAEd and the American Academy of Political and Social Science (AAPSS) held a workshop focused on assessment issues that will culminate in a May 2019 edition of the AAPSS The ANNALS. The workshop aimed to provide an updated account of the status of testing in American schools as a foundation for improved policy thinking in the decades ahead. Click here for more details.

Contact Amy Berman for more information.

Methods and Policy Uses of International Large-Scale Assessments 

Although there is widespread recognition that ILSAs can provide useful information, there is debate about what types of comparisons are the most meaningful and what could be done to assure more sound interpretations. To address these issues, the National Academy of Education (NAEd) assembled a Steering Committee to examine the future of ILSAs from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. The committee held two workshops, commissioned a series of papers, and has produced a summary report available for download.

RAC Members

  • David Kaplan (Chair)
    University of Wisconsin – Madison
  • Henry Braun
    Boston College
  • Michael Feuer
    The George Washington University
  • Glynda Hull
    University of California, Berkeley
  • Susanna Loeb 
    Brown University
  • William F. Tate IV 
    Washington University in St. Louis
  • Noreen Webb 
    University of California, Los Angeles
  • Stanton Wortham
    Boston College
  • Amy Berman (ex officio)
    National Academy of Education
  • Gloria Ladson-Billings (ex officio)
    University of Wisconsin – Madison
  • Heidi Schweingruber (ex officio)
    National Academy of Sciences DBASSE
  • Gregory White (ex officio)
    National Academy of Education

Recent & Featured

Please follow the link for a full list of our publications.

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