theoretical frameworks. All should be organized in coherent programs of related work. The portfolio should include research syntheses as well as new scientific investigations.
Estimates of the federal investment in education research have shown it to be a few tenths of one percent of the total amount spent on public elementary and secondary education each year—far less than comparable investments for agriculture and medicine. The research budget of the OERI (and its predecessor agency, the National Institute of Education) has fallen drastically since its inception: in 1973, its budget was over $525 million; today, it is approximately $130 million (both in 2000 dollars). As funding plummeted, there has been no commensurate change in the scope of its agenda, and thus there have been few opportunities for long-term research programs. We echo the calls of several previous studies and commissions for a significantly increased research budget if its agenda is to cover the breadth of content required of its predecessors. Stagnant funding, an inconsistent commitment, or both, means that scientific research in education is not being taken seriously.
The agency should consistently invest in infrastructure-building programs to foster a scientifically competent, highly qualified community of education researchers and to strengthen its own capacity in turn. Since an agency in many ways is a reflection of the field it supports, such programs should include investment in human capital (e.g., research training and fellowship support). Promoting ethical access to research subjects and data should be an essential task as well. An agency should also do its part to facilitate relationships between practitioners