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March 1, 2002

Contact: Brian Jones
(202) 261-2603

Florida Chief Advocates for Integrity in Research Before House Subcommittee on Education Reform
ELC Vice-Chairman Jim Horne warns Congress to be wary of education research driven by politics instead of scientific inquiry

WASHINGTON, DC — Jim Horne, Florida Secretary of Education and Vice Chairman of the Education Leaders Council (ELC), told Members of the House Subcommittee on Education Reform that, "the focus of the No Child Left Behind Act on programs proven effective by scientifically based research may, in fact, be among the most important provisions in the recently signed law reauthorizing federal education programs."

The hearing, chaired by Representative Michael Castle (R-DE), was focused on the reauthorization of the U.S. Department of Educationís Office of Education Research and Improvement (OERI). During the hearing, Chairman Castle stated that, "it is time to bring education science up to the standards of scientific inquiry that has given us the most advanced medical system in the world." He continued, "this research, whether in math, English, science or history is vital to the education of our nationís youth."

Secretary Horne responded by advising members to keep research free of politics to ensure the integrity of the results. "Simply put," Horne said, "I believe there is a broad consensus among those at the state and local levels that much of the research funded and disseminated by the federal government has not met the same stringent criteria which will now be applied to schools, districts and the states.

"There is clearly a perception out in the field," Horne emphasized, "that too often, this research — and more specifically, the topics, the timing, and the findings — is driven more by politics than sound scientific inquiry."

Horne urged Committee Members to take advantage of this opportunity to better support the many reforms now taking place at the state and local levels — aided greatly by the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act through the OERI reauthorization.

"At this critical juncture for education, ELC encourages you to significantly reform OERI and greatly increase the integrity, quality and utility of education research in this nation," he said.

Horne was elected the Vice-Chairman of the ELC Board in February.