alternative of a new federal foundation aid program based on an adequacy justification would entail a significant change in federal policy and would raise many of the same analytical, conceptual, and political issues that arise in the formulation of adequacy programs at the state level.

Finally, the report draws attention to the nation's need for better and more focused education research to help strengthen schools and bring about substantial improvements in student learning. Acknowledging the especially challenging conditions facing many big-city educators, the committee proposes three new substantial research initiatives in urban areas (without specifying the priority among them): (1) an experiment on capacity-building that would tackle the challenges of developing and retaining well-prepared teachers; (2) systematic experimentation with incentives designed to motivate higher performance by teachers and schools; and (3) a large and ambitious school voucher experiment, including the participation of private schools. Meeting the nation's education goals will depend in part on continuously and systematically seeking better knowledge about how to improve educational outcomes, through new research initiatives such as these along with more extensive evaluation of the many reform efforts already under way.



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