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Experts Set National Research Agenda for High School Reform

Learning Point Associates and the Institute of Education Sciences cohost a national forum to advance the research agenda for improving America's high schools.

May 11, 2005

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS—More than 50 education researchers, policymakers, and association leaders gathered last week in Washington, D.C., to attend a research forum aimed at improving America's high schools. The event was cohosted by Learning Point Associates and the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) and was the launching pad for the new IES high school reform research initiative.

Participants at "Research on Improving High Schools: A Forum for Advancing the Research Agenda" reviewed existing high school research for rigor and relevance, identifying areas in which additional research is needed to expand what is known about current interventions and validate what works to improve the quality of high school education. The forum focused on four key components of high school reform: structure, high school completion and college readiness rates, programs and interventions, and transitions into and out of high school.

"This type of forum—connecting research, policy, and practice, especially in partnership with IES—is the right work for a regional educational laboratory to lead," said Gina Burkhardt, CEO, Learning Point Associates. "Our goal is to have the challenges faced in high schools addressed much more efficiently and coherently. We are confident that the forum will lead to powerful leveraged efforts to make high schools work well for all of our students."

To further the efforts of providing essential, research-based information to educators and policymakers, IES will be releasing a request for applications in June for its High School Reform Education Research Program.

"Through this program of research, the institute [IES] hopes to identify and develop interventions that are effective in improving academic achievement and graduation rates," said Mark Schneider, deputy commissioner, National Center for Education Research, Institute of Education Sciences. According to Schneider, the program also will provide evidence of the effectiveness of interventions and evaluate the efficacy of interventions for improving achievement and graduation rates.

Panel papers from the forum are posted on Learning Point Associates Center for High School Excellence Web site at www.chse.org. The center is responsive to the growing need of educators and policymakers for resources, research, and strategies that support standards-based reform aligned with the U.S. Department of Education’s Preparing America’s Future High School Initiative and No Child Left Behind.

About the Institute of Education Sciences
The Institute of Education Sciences is the research, evaluation, and statistics-gathering arm of the U.S. Department of Education. Its mission is to expand knowledge and provide information on the condition of education, practices that improve academic achievement, and the effectiveness of federal and other education programs. Its goal is the transformation of education into an evidence-based field in which decision makers routinely seek out the best available research and data before adopting programs or practices that will affect significant numbers of students.

About Learning Point Associates
In 2003, Learning Point Associates became a nationally and internationally focused education nonprofit organization. With offices in Naperville, Illinois; Chicago; and Washington, D.C., Learning Point Associates is a resource for all education stakeholders. It works directly with K–16 practitioners, policymakers, and funders to build research- and technology-based products, tools, and resources; deliver capacity-building professional services and technical assistance; and conduct high-integrity evaluation and policy research.

In 1984 the federally funded regional educational laboratory in the Midwest was awarded to the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL). In 2003, the name of this nonprofit organization was changed to Learning Point Associates, and its efforts expanded in both scope and diversity. NCREL remains one of the 10 regional educational laboratories funded by the U.S. Department of Education, and its work is conducted by Learning Point Associates.

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