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Y 4.SCI 2:106-65

EDUCATION RESEARCH: IS WHAT WE DON'T
KNOW HURTING OUR CHILDREN?

63-310

HEARING

BEFORE THE

SUBCOMMITTEE ON BASIC RESEARCH

OF THE

COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

ONE HUNDRED SIXTH CONGRESS

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For sale by the U.S. Government Printing Office

Superintendent of Documents, Congressional Sales Office, Washington, DC 20402

ISBN 0-16-060681-0

COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE

F. JAMES SENSENBRENNER, JR., Wisconsin, Chairman

SHERWOOD L. BOEHLERT, New York
LAMAR SMITH, Texas

CONSTANCE A. MORELLA, Maryland
CURT WELDON, Pennsylvania
DANA ROHRABACHER, California
JOE BARTON, Texas

KEN CALVERT, California
NICK SMITH, Michigan

ROSCOE G. BARTLETT, Maryland
VERNON J. EHLERS, Michigan
DAVE WELDON, Florida

GIL GUTKNECHT, Minnesota
THOMAS W. EWING, Illinois

CHRIS CANNON, Utah

KEVIN BRADY, Texas

MERRILL COOK, Utah

FRANK D. LUCAS, Oklahoma

RALPH M. HALL, Texas

BART GORDON, Tennessee
JERRY F. COSTELLO, Illinois
JAMES A. BARCIA, Michigan

EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON, Texas
LYNN C. WOOLSEY, California
LYNN N. RIVERS, Michigan
ZOE LOFGREN, California

MICHAEL F. DOYLE, Pennsylvania
SHEILA JACKSON LEE, Texas
DEBBIE STABENOW, Michigan

BOB ETHERIDGE, North Carolina
NICK LAMPSON, Texas

JOHN B. LARSON, Connecticut
MARK UDALL, Colorado

DAVID WU, Oregon

GEORGE R. NETHERCUTT, JR., Washington ANTHONY D. WEINER, New York

MARK GREEN, Wisconsin

STEVEN T. KUYKENDALL, California

GARY G. MILLER, California

JUDY BIGGERT, Illinois

MARSHALL "MARK" SANFORD, South

Carolina

JACK METCALF, Washington

MICHAEL E. CAPUANO, Massachusetts
BRIAN BAIRD, Washington

JOSEPH M. HOEFFEL, Pennsylvania
DENNIS MOORE, Kansas

Vacancy

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CONTENTS

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HEARING ON EDUCATION
WHAT WE DON'T KNOW
CHILDREN?

RESEARCH:
HURTING

IS

OUR

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 26, 1999

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, SUBCOMMITTEE ON BASIC RESEARCH, COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE, Washington, DC.

The Subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 2:00 p.m., in Room 2318, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Nick Smith (Ćhairman of the Subcommittee) presiding.

Chairman SMITH. The Subcommittee on Basic Research will come to order for the purpose of having a hearing on education research.

After 2000-plus years of experience, we still do not know the best way to raise and teach our kids. I see the goal of today's hearing to maybe be two-fold. First, how can the estimated $300 million a year that we spend on educational research be better utilized to help assure that each student learns to their maximum potential? Secondly, I would like an evaluation of whether taxpayers are getting their money's worth in terms of the quality of the research, the dissemination of the research, and the utilization of that research in our school systems.

I doubt there are many people who would argue against basing education practices-what we teach our children and how it gets taught on methods that work. So, how are we discovering the methods that work, and how do we get that information to school systems that can utilize it? New teaching methods often get introduced into classrooms with little data proving that they are actually the right teaching methods that have a positive effect. The studies that are done are too often not done in a scientific way it would seem and with adequate control groups or other methods that minimize bias. Too often we end up with popular theories favored by education community leaders maybe rather than the proven methods.

We find ourselves in a situation where some experts tell us one thing, that reducing class size, for example, to 15 or 17 students makes a big difference, and other experts say it is the quality of the teachers. And so a lot of different information. Is the research really moving us towards the proposition that we are coming closer to allowing every student to maximize their learning to their fullest. potential? Is there definitive research? And assuming it exists, how do we recognize it?

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