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The Strengthening Education through Research Act


Established by the Education Sciences Reform Act in 2002, the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) is responsible for gathering information on education progress, conducting research on educational practices in the nation’s schools, and evaluating the quality of federal education programs and initiatives. The information collected and disseminated by IES helps states and school districts identify and implement successful education practices. Additionally, the research allows taxpayers and congressional leaders to monitor the federal investment in education.

However, the Education Sciences Reform Act is overdue for reform, and a recent report by the Government Accountability Office found several weaknesses in the law that must be addressed. For example, although IES has significantly improved the quality of education research over the last decade, there is often a significant delay in disseminating key data and findings to education officials.  Additionally, IES does not always properly evaluate the efficacy of its programs and research arms, potentially leading to unnecessary costs and redundancies.


To enhance the quality of education research, Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Chairman Todd Rokita (R-IN) and Ranking Member Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) introduced the Strengthening Education through Research Act (H.R. 4366). This legislation will reauthorize the Education Sciences Reform Act and improve the federal research structure.


  • Enhances the relevancy of education research at the state and local levels, helping teachers, students, parents, and policymakers access more useful information about successful education practices.
  • Streamlines the federal education research system, preventing overlap, redundancy, and duplication of research efforts.
  • Improves accountability and protects the taxpayers’ investment by requiring regular evaluations of research and education programs.
  • Strengthens privacy provisions to ensure personally identifiable information collected by IES is secure and protected.
  • Maintains the autonomy of IES, the National Assessment Governing Board, and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (also known as the Nation’s Report Card) to shield these entities from political influence and bias.

The Strengthening Education through Research Act (H.R. 4366) will make it easier for states and school districts to access useful data that can help raise student achievement levels in the classroom.

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