Over the past thirty years, the government has spent approximately $1.5 billion on the Regional Educational Laboratories and $1.1 billion on the Research and Development Centers. After this large investment, these two research facilities still have been unable to find the best way to effectively help at-risk children thrive in school. Many people are slowly realizing that, unfortunately, our sizable investment in educational research and development has not been sufficient to produce the kind of information that policymakers and educators must have if they hope to meet the needs of these at-risk children.
Maris A. Vinovskis uses the research he has done over the past decade, along with the findings of other policymakers, to argue that the American public school system needs to gain functional reform if research institutions are to conduct more effective studies for policymakers. He examines here both recent reform policies as well as the history behind educational reform.
Vinovskis's vigorous investigation of the process of educational research and development in the United States will be of particular interest to individuals whose careers depend on continued federal funding. This book will also appeal to educators, policymakers, and public policy analysts and will be of unequaled value in understanding the formulation of new educational policies in the twenty-first century.
Maris A. Vinovskis is active on Capitol Hill and lectures throughout the country at such prestigious institutions as the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Brookings Institution, and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. He is Professor of History, University of Michigan.
This collection of essays examines how the social sciences in America were developed as a means of social reform and later, especially after World War II, as a tool in federal policymaking and policy analysis. It also uses arenas of policymaking, such as early childhood education and welfare and its reform, as case studies in which social research was used, in policy decisions or in setting and evaluating policy goals. The book is written to aid students of public policy to appreciate the complex relationship of information--principally, of social science research--to policymaking at the federal level.
David L. Featherman is Professor of Sociology and Psychology, Director and Senior Research Scientist, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan. Maris A. Vinovskis is Bentley Professor of History, Senior Research Scientist, Institute for Social Research, Faculty member, School of Public Policy, University of Michigan.