President’s Comment: AERA Turns 100

This year, the American Educational Research Association (AREA) will celebrate its one-hundredth anniversary at its annual meeting in Washington, DC on April 8-12, 2016. Throughout its history, AERA has provided a forum for researchers to share substantive findings and methodological advances to further the field. In recent years, AERA has become increasingly engaged in the public sphere, whether by developing guidelines and standards for research, promoting policy changes to strengthen the federal infrastructure for research, or facilitating the use of research evidence in policy and practice. It is thus fitting that AERA has chosen “Public Scholarship to Educate Diverse Democracies” as the theme for its one-hundredth annual meeting.

I and my colleagues from the Foundation will have several opportunities to engage with past, current, and potential future grantees at the upcoming meeting:

Coffee and Conversation: New Funding for Studies of the Use of Research Evidence in Education

Sun, April 10, 8:30 to 9:30am, Convention Center, Level One, Room 103 B

In 2015 we launched a new phase of our efforts to support research on improving the use of research evidence in policy and practice decisions. I am inviting researchers interested in the science of evidence-based policy and practice to join me for a conversation about this work. I’ll talk about the new phase of our efforts, and participants will have a chance to share their ideas and see what might be responsive to the call.

Future Directions for Longitudinal Studies Conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics

Sun, April 10, 10:35am to 12:05pm, Convention Center, Level Two, Room 204 C

An important aspect of public scholarship is engaging with the U.S. Department of Education on its data-gathering and research support activities. I will be moderating a session that will bring the commissioner of education statistics, Dr. Peggy Carr, into a dialogue with three researchers to talk about the longitudinal data series of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).

Diverse Research Methods for Educating Diverse Democracies: Using Multiple Methods to Understand and Intervene on the Social Contexts of Education

Sun, April 10, 2:45 to 4:15pm, Marriott Marquis, Level Four, Liberty Salon J

The William T. Grant Foundation has long been known for its interdisciplinary portfolio and support of mixed methods research. Former William T. Grant Scholar Elizabeth Moje has organized a session on diverse perspectives of research on the social context of education, which I will moderate along with Alfredo Artiles.

Division L Invited Session: The Coleman Report 50 Years On

Sat, April 9, 10:35am to 12:05pm, Convention Center, Level One, Room 146 A

While AERA celebrates its one-hundredth year, another icon is turning 50: the “Coleman Report,” Equality of Opportunity, was published in 1966. I am looking forward to a session that looks back across on the fifty years that have passed and towards the continuing relevance of this topic in the future.

Early Career Research Funding

Sat, April 9, 12:25 to 1:55pm, Convention Center, Level Two, Room 204 C

Elizabeth Moje, the chair of the selection committee for the William T. Grant Scholars program, will speak about the program (as well as about the National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellows program) in a session about early career funding opportunities.


Finally, Vivian Tseng, Vice President for Program of the William T. Grant Foundation, will participate in a number of sessions throughout the weekend. Included are the following which we especially encourage you to attend:

David L Clark Seminar: “Building a Career at the Intersection of Research, Policy, and Practice.”

Thurs, April 7, 5:00 to 6:00, Convention Ctr-801 Mt. Vernon Pl, NW-Level One, Room 146C

Shanker Institute Conference on the Social Side of Education: “Improving Education Through a Focus on Partnerships”

Fri, April 8, 2016, 11:45am to 12:45pm, Washington Court Hotel, 525 New Jersey Ave. NW Washington, D.C.

The Role of Philanthropy in Education Research

Sat, April 9, 12:25 to 1:55pm, Convention Center, 801 Mt. Vernon Pl, NW-Level Two, Room 201


Leading up to AERA, we are proud to be supporting the “Higher Education Leadership Conference on Advancing Public Scholarship in Education: The Vantage and Shifting Vantage of Funders and Higher Education Leaders,” a conversation among university leaders about high-quality public scholarship and ways to stimulate and evaluate it.