It’s time for K-12 research to move from ‘what works’ to ‘what happens’

"A large proportion of the US population is still not being effectively educated in the K–12 schools. Despite billions of dollars spent on decades of research, though, we still don’t understand why or what to do about it.

NCER is intended to address exactly these questions. But the agency is not adequately targeting funds at research that will answer them. Instead, NCER funds a hodgepodge of 13 “topics,” laid out in an annual Request for Applications, including some pedagogical theory, several curricular areas, two age levels, one student subgroup, the “social and behavioral context for academic learning,” and a couple of others. This incoherent assortment has accumulated over time, driven largely by the interests of academics and contract researchers, not a logic model for improving student outcomes."