The University of California Educational Leadership Institute
The need to bring research to bear on the problems of educational practice has never been greater. U.S. schools face a number of critical challenges in the years ahead. Two of the most cited examples are incorporating increasing numbers of educationally disadvantaged students into the educational mainstream and preparing students for an increasingly competitive and technologically advanced work environment. In order to meet these challenges, a variety of reform efforts are under way at the local, state, and federal levels.
Research should play an important role in meeting these challenges. Although some critics claim educational research has produced few findings that can be used or have been used to improve schools, others claim that research has made an important contribution, not so much in producing immediate applications, but in ''constructing, challenging, or changing the way policymakers and practitioners think about problems." The recent report of the National Academy of Education, Research, and the Renewal of Education further argues that "current efforts to implement broad-based school reforms without adequate research to guide the direction of change will fail."
This article was originally published in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis by the American Educational Research Association and Journal Storage (JSTOR).