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Are We Here to Talk to our Peers and Pander to Caesar?

Posted By: Dick Schutz on February 2, 2008
Is this what educational research is all about? Is getting our studies and our universities funded by the Feds, the name of the game? That’s certainly not my understanding. I thought it was about kids and schools, instructional activities and environments and all of the other matters that comprise the complex of “education.” I thought we were working to produce a body of information that could be used to predict and control phenomena of interest, improve consequences and reduce costs, and other efforts along these lines.

If our prime audience is “policy makers”, we’re failing miserably. When NCLB, the major national legislation is founded on an impossible statistical fallacy and arbitrary cutting scores on ungrounded statistical scales, the educational research clocks are striking 13. While it’s reasonable, in my view, to decry the politization of science by the current Administration, these are bipartisan, pan-professional flaws that a bit of logic, research aside, could have prevented.

“Methodological diversity” and “a greater effort at collaboration across traditional methodological and disciplinary boundaries” is pallid rhetoric. Research is about precise methodologies and about competition within and across boundaries, Methodological diversity and cooperation without substance are in plentiful supply at the present time.

I dunno. It seems to me that the most powerful nation in the world has a subprime educational research crisis that is of larger long term import than the subprime mortgage crisis. But when a government is more interested in destroying the institution of public schooling than in “institution building” and does not recognize the need for “culture building” in education R&D, after having "cleansed" the “D” component, “change” is about all we can hope and pray for..

Dick Schutz
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 Are We Here to Talk to our Peers and Pander to Caesar? by Dick Schutz on February 2, 2008
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