Scientifically Based Research — U.S. Department of Education– Pg 2

Welcome and Introduction—Susan B. Neuman

     SUSAN NEUMAN: Good morning. My name is Susan Neuman. I’m Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education. It’s just thrilling to have all of you here today.

     One of our goals today—we have a very practical goal actually. We’re no longer debating whether scientifically based research and scientifically based evidence is important, we know it now is important and we know it is critical. As many of you know, we have counted one hundred and eleven times that the phrase “scientifically based research” is in our new law.

     What our goal today is, is a very practical one. What we want to do is begin to explore the logic of scientifically based evidence or research and to really to begin to understand both its definition as well as its intent.

     The second goal is something that is very particular to our office, the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, and that is, how do we begin to put this into practice? How do we begin to suggest guidance?

     What you are going to hear today is not only some wonderful papers on what is scientifically based evidence, what is it in its logic, it’s characteristics, what it is and what it isn’t. But, then, after a break, what we hope to do is really focus on what does this mean for safe and drug-free schools, reading, math, comprehensive school reform?

     What we want to do eventually is move this debate throughout all of our programs so that we begin to really look at the scientific basis underlying what we say and what we do for schools in districts across the country.

     What I want to do today is I want us to keep very much on pace. You’ll see that there is opportunity to ask lots of questions. We ask you that the questions you raise, please focus on the implications of this issue, not whether or not scientifically based evidence is a good thing or not.

     I’m going to keep people very closely—Valerie reminded me that I was already late. What we are going to do is we are going to keep people moving in a very fast pace and then give time for your questions. Then have a little break, move it on to implications and then, finally, have a panel where you really are able to address even more questions. We are delighted to have you all today.