The Interagency Education Research Initiative(IERI) began in response to a 1997 report, Report to the President on the Use of Technology to Strengthen K-12 Education, in which President Clinton's Panel on Educational Technology strongly urged that a significant federal research investment be undertaken to improve our understanding of how children learn, and to support the development of best practice that supports optimal learning, particularly through the use of computer and information technologies. A striking finding of the report is that the federal government invests less than 0.1 percent of the more than $300 billion spent on K-12 public education each year to examine and improve educational practice; by contrast,the pharmaceutical industry invests nearly a quarter of its expenditures on the development and testing of new drugs.
In response to this report and to the demands of education policymakers and practitioners for information about whatworks, the Interagency Education Research Initiative (IERI) was launched to accelerate the translation of robust research findings into concrete lessons for educators to improve student achievement in preK-12 reading, mathematics, and science.
The IERI is a collaboration of the National Science Foundation, Department of Education, and National Institute of Child Health and Human Development that is supporting a fundamentally new character of research in preK-12 education. This research features interdisciplinary collaborations across learning-related disciplines, is substantively focused on key aspects of preK- 1 2 education, and is conducted on a scale large enough to produce generalizable lessons about what works and why. The IERI made its first round of grants with nearly $30 million in FY99 funds in the fall of 1999, and a second joint announcement has recently been released for $38 million in new FY00 funds for the initiative. This program announcement can be found at: http://www.nsf.gov/cgi-bin/getpub?nsf0074 The president has requested $50 million in FY01 funds for this exciting initative.
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