Who Should Be Responsible For Research For Changes in No Child Left Behind (NCLB)
Once a method of evaluation for the No Child Left Behind policy is determined, it should now be determined who should carry out the studies to find alternative methods and processes for the revisions or new directions of the policy. Not only should the ‘who’ be defined when looking at the research portion of the process, but the leadership to whom the ‘who’ should answer to should be included. The research process should not be undertaken under one entity in either the public or private sector, but should have representations in both. If one sector took over, the other sector would find fault or prejudice in the ruling sector’s decisions.
The No Child Left Behind policy has made use of the term, ‘scientifically based research’ throughout the document. Eisenhart (2003) has stated a case that the definition of scientifically based research is up for scrutiny within the document. She argues that because high stakes are involved, the definitions are often lumped together when interpreted by Washington sources. She makes a stance that from an academic standpoint there are important differences in the definitions and what the purpose of the definitions are. She suggests that the various definitions of ‘scientifically based research’ should have public input and this input can provide leverage when altering the meaning of the definitions.
Angrist (2004) has a different opinion of who should carry out the research on educational policy and especially the policy of NCLB. He argues that American education researchers have used qualitative and descriptive analysis over quantitative research for over a quarter century but has now adopted governmental initiatives to use randomized trials to evaluate programs. The author has the opinion that educational research has fallen out of step with other social sciences and is now caught in a mire of ethical issues and practicality. He uses the recent decisions of 2003 by California to cut class sizes. This is now an issue in 2009 as California now has increased class size and has stopped all classes and activities outside the four core subjects.
The research method used by the educational researchers should be aligned with other methods that are now in use by the academic community in other social sciences. The alignment of research methods is essential for policy makers to not only define what ‘scientifically based research’ is and how it should be implemented. The definition should be scrutinized by the person or grouped chosen to oversee the research of the policy methods and then the purpose of that definition should be examined for hidden bias, prejudice, or an altering purpose than that intended by policy makers and those interpreting the policy.