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Legislation and Funding HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH FEDERAL COMMITMENT TO EDUCATIONAL R&D A national commitment to educational R&D began a half century before a commitment to vocational education R&D. The federal Department of Education, established in 1867, was charged with data gathering and dissemination of statistics that would "show the condition and progress of education in the several States and Territories . . . " (U.S. Depart- ment of HEW 1969, p. 47~. Later, these duties were assumed by the U.S. Office of Education and until the mid-19SOs they constituted the total federal commitment to educational R&D (Clark 1974, p. 4~. In 1953, the new Commissioner of Education, Samuel Brownell (1955, p. 2), sought to expand the R&D functions of the U.S. Office of Education (USOE): "If I were asked to name the one field in which the Once can be of greatest service at this time, I should answer 'educational research'". In 1954 the Cooperative Research Act (P.L. 531) authorized the Com- missioner of Education to enter into "contracts or jointly financed coop- erative arrangements with universities and colleges and state educational agencies for the conduct of research, surveys, and demonstrations in the field of education." Although the Act was not funded until 1956, and then at a low level, it represented the first federal commitment to an educational R&D role broader than data collection and dissemination. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 expanded the 16
Legislation and Funding 17 USOE involvement in educational R&D. A wide variety of new programs were initiated under the authority of Titles III and IV of the 1965 Act. In an effort to improve dissemination and utilization of research results, 21 R&D centers were established, as well as 20 regional laboratories, to de- velop projects and interact directly with school systems. To complement its investments in educational R&D, USOE funded the Educational Re- sources Information Center (ERIC) in 1966 to serve as an information collection and retrieval system for providing ready access to educational literature. By the early 1970s, "literally thousands of Title III projects were funded in local school districts and the federal investment in educa- tion R&D (loosely defined) was approaching $200 million (per year)" (Clark 19744. Perhaps as a result of the rapid growth of the federal investment in educational R&D, support grew for the establishment of the National Institute of Education (NIE) to serve the educational community in much the same manner as the health community is served by the National Institutes of Health. The Educational Amendments Act of 1972 autho- rized the formation of NIE to: "help to solve or to alleviate the problems of, and promote the reform and renewal of, American education; ad- vance the practice of education, as an art, science, and profession; strengthen the scientific and technological foundations of education; and build an effective educational research and development system" (U.S. Department of HEW 1973, pp. 9-10~. FEDERAL COMMITMENT TO VOCATIONAL EDUCATION R&D The Smith-Hughes Act of 1917 and the George Barden Act of 1946, which provided federal funds for vocational education, permitted sup- port of studies and reports designed to improve the administration and management of vocational education programs, but neither provided specifically for R&D funding. Prompted by the report of the 1961 Panel of Consultants on vocational education (U.S. Department of HEW 1963), the Vocational Education Act of 1963 explicitly provided substantial funding for vocational education R&D. The Panel observed that most of the small amount of R&D in vocational education had been applied re- search; almost none had been experimental research under controlled conditions. Most of the research had been local in scope and was little known outside its own locality. The Panel also noted that a considerable amount of the research had been devoted to the collection of data, with little attention to interpretations of the data collected and their implica- tions. In its report, the Panel noted several factors that had contributed to
18 ASSESSING VOCATIONAL EDUCATION SEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT some of the shortcomings of vocational education research. First, few individuals had been trained for research in vocational education, and vocational educators did research only to solve problems, not to prevent them. Second, much of the research in vocational education was done to fulfill requirements for graduate degrees; these requirements fostered minor studies rather than comprehensive research projects. Third, com- prehensive research is facilitated by adequate financing and organiza- tional structures, neither of which was available. (Other reasons for the absence of major research efforts can be found in the full report of the Panel.) The research committee of the 1961 Panel recommended funds ear- marked for research and advocated the establishment of a research cen- ter or clearinghouse to coordinate, stimulate, and conduct R&D activities. Section 4(c) of the Vocational Education Act of 1963 reflected the Panel's concern with research: Ten per centum of the sums appropriated pursuant to section 2 for each fiscal year shall be used by the Commissioner to make grants to colleges and un~versi- ties, and other public or nonprofit private agencies and institutions, to State boards, and with the approval of the appropriate State board, to local educa- tional agencies, to pay part of the cost of research and training programs and of experimental, developmental, or pilot programs developed by such institutions, boards, or agencies, and designed to meet the special vocational education needs of youths, particularly youths in economically depressed communities who have academic, socio-econom~c, or other handicaps that prevent them from succeeding in the regular vocational education programs. The 1963 Act also provided for the creation of the ad hoc Advisory Council on Vocational Education (the Essex Council), which reviewed the entire vocational educational program between 1963 and 1967. In December 1967 this group presented a series of recommendations that expressed dissatisfactions with the nature of the research and the admin- istration of the research program. The Essex Council recommended re- ducing administrative complexities, providing specific training for the handicapped, authorizing work-study programs and residential vocation- al schools, and increasing the emphasis given to post-secondary and adult programs. The Council recommended changes in federal-state rela- tionships in order to give greater latitude to the states in both program planning and management. It was recommended that ten percent of the funds appropriated for vocational education continue to be available for research-related activities, including the support of state research coordi- nating units and state research programs. The Council also recommend- ed that funds be allocated directly by the Commissioner of Education to support research on critical problems of national scope.
Legislation and Funding 19 Like the 1961 Panel, the 1967 Essex Council wanted the administra- tion, supervision, and coordination of the research funds to remain in the vocational education division of the U.S. Office of Education in order that such research might bear directly upon the needs of vocational edu- cation. The 1968 Amendments incorporated many of the Essex Council's rec- ommendations, including continuation of the ten percent authorization for research and a new division of research funds on a 50/50 basis be- tween the U.S. Commissioner of Education and the states. The Amend- ments specified that, in addition to research, exemplary projects and curriculum development be supported with R&D funds. OVERVIEW OF VOCATIONAL EDUCATION R&D Between 1965 and 1974 (inclusive), the U.S. Office of Education spent close to $250 million to support almost 5,000 vocational education re- search and development projects. This section gives a brief description of the funding, priority areas, and general characteristics of that R&D, which was conducted under the 1963 Act and 1968 Amendments and adminis tered by USOE. Project listings, abstracts, and files were supplied by the Division of Research and Demonstration, Bureau of Occupational and Adult Education, U.S. Once of Education. An evaluation of demonstra- tion projects was also reviewed (Development Associates 1975~. Detailed tables summarizing the information on which this discussion is based are presented in Appendix C. Section 4(c) of the 1963 Act provided support for vocational education R&D for fiscal 1965 through fiscal 1969. Beginning in fiscal 1970, R&D has been supported under the authority of Parts C, D, and I of the 1968 Amendments: Part C funds support research, demonstration, and curric- ulum development; Part D funds are used to demonstrate innovative vocational education or career education programs in school settings; and Part I funds are authorized to support curriculum development and dissemination. Since all funding for R&D supported under Section 4(c) was superseded by Part C, Section 4(c) expenditures are analyzed in conjunction with the discussion of Part C. Table 1 presents fiscal data for the separate parts of the vocational education R&D program from fiscal 1965 through fiscal 1975. The admin- istration requested the full authorization for any part only in fiscal 1965 and fiscal 1966. In each year except fiscal 1971, the request for Part C has been for less than one-third of the authorization; the request for Part D, less than one-fourth; and for Part I, less than one-half. In fiscal 1965, 1966, and 1972 through 1975 (except for Part I in fiscal
20 ASSESSING VOCATIONAL EDUCATION RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT TABLE 1 Funds (in millions) for Parts C, D, & I and Section 4 (c) Authorized SECTION 4 (c) Requested Appropriated 1965$ 11.8 $11.8 $11.8 196617.8 17.8 17.8 196722.5 17.8 10.0 196822.5 17.1 13.6 196935.5 15.7 11.6 TOTAL$110.1 $86.2 $64.8 PART C 1969$ 35.0 $ 0$ 0 197056.0 1.11.1 197167.5 *35.8 197267.5 ~18.0 197367.5 18.018.0 19746?.5 18.018.0 197567.5 18.018.0 TOTAL$428.5 $108.9 PART D 1969$ 15.0 $ 0 $ 0 197057.5 13.0 13.0 197175.0 * 16.0 197275.0 ~16.0 197375.0 16.0 16.0 197475.0 16.0 16.0 197575.0 16.0 16.0 TOTAL$447.5 $93.0 PARTI 1969 $ 7.0 $ 0 $ 0 1970 10.0 2.0 .9 1971 10.0 ~4.0 1972 10.0 t 4.0 1973 10.0 6.0 4.0 1974 10.0 4.0 4.0 1975 10.0 4.0 1.0 TOTAL $67.0 $17.9 ~ . NOTE: During each year of Part C funding, a small number of special projects of national scope have been supported by a slim-off of the state allotments of the Com missioner's Part C funds. Funding for these projects are included in this table but in no others in this report. *Combined requests for Parts C, D, and I was $25.7 million; the combined appropri ation was $ S 5.8 million. "Combined request for Parts C, D, and I was $36.0 million; the combined appropri ation was $38.0 million.
Legislation and Funding 21 1975), appropriations equaled requests; in fiscal 1971 and 1972 appropri- ations exceeded requests. In all, $284,430,000 was appropriated for voca- tional education R&D between fiscal 1965 and fiscal 1975 (of which al- most $250,000,000 had been spent through fiscal 1974~; this represented less than 28 percent of the amount authorized. Appropriations for Section 4(c) ranged between $10 million and nearly $18 million. Part C has received $18 million per year since fiscal 1972. Since fiscal 1971, Part D has received $16 million per year. Part I, the smallest of the three programs, received $4 million per year between fiscal 1971 and fiscal 1974 and was reduced to $1 million in fiscal 1975. However, since Part C funds can be used for any Part I activity and Part D can support demonstrations of new curricula, the severely reduced funding for Part I did not necessarily lead to a parallel reduction in curriculum development projects. PARTS OF THE R&D PROGRAM Section 4(cJ and Part C Funds from Section 4(c) and Part C have been used to support grants and contracts for research; training programs to familiarize personnel with research results and products; developmental, experimental, or pilot programs intended to meet the special vocational needs of youth, espe- cially disadvantaged youth; demonstration and dissemination projects; and state RCUS, which administer and sometimes conduct state research and development programs. As noted above, all of the activities specified under Parts D and I can also be conducted under Part C. While Section 4(c) funds were reserved for the Commissioner of Edu- cation for direct federal grants and contracts, Part C funds are divided equally between the Commissioner and the states. Both the Commission- er's share and the states' share of Part C funds are allocated to states according to a population and income formula. Income is a negative factor in the equation; that is, states with a higher per capita income receive less money. Different age groups in the states' populations are differentially weighted: ages 15-19 most heavily, ages 2~24 less, and ages 26~5 least. Federally administered Part C projects, typically 18 months long, are selected from proposals made in response to announcements published periodically in the Federal Register. The states' share of Part C is used to pay part of the costs of R&D programs and projects in accordance with the state plan. Because both federal and state shares are distributed by state according to a population formula, and because in some states only
22 ASSESSING VOCATIONAL EDUCATION RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT the state education agency (SEA) applies for the federal share, SEAS some- times receive both shares. Except for a few large projects, awards for study of national scope are charged against the federal share allocated to the state in which the national study has its headquarters. Funding and Project Size Under Section 4(c), projects averaged be- tween $60,000 and $90,000 each. In fiscal 1971, eight large career educa- tion models (averaging over $1,000,000 each) were funded from the Commissioner's share of Part C, inflating the mean project size to over $500,000. In fiscal 1972 and fiscal 1973, more projects were funded at least one in each state and, consequently, the mean project size de- creased. With full competition in fiscal 1974, mean project size decreased further. From fiscal 1971 through fiscal 1975, there were between 400 and 700 state Part C projects annually at a mean cost of $12,000 to $20,000 each. Types of Projects Under Section 4(c), about 32 percent of the funding supported applied or fundamental research, while about 37 percent sup- ported experimental, developmental, or pilot projects. In fiscal 1971, about 68 percent of federal Part C funds supported experimental, devel- opmental, or pilot projects, and in fiscal 1972 and fiscal 1973, all of the federal Part C money went to such projects. In fiscal 1974, however, only 31 percent of Part C funds supported experimental, developmental, or pilot projects and 68 percent supported research. For state Part C projects, a rough classification by project titles indi- cates that less than 40 percent of the classifiable projects can be called research even in the broadest sense of the term. About 35 percent of the awards went to developmental projects, and the other awards supported demonstrations, evaluations, dissemination, or research coordinating unit activities. This classification must be taken as only a rough approxi- mation: it is very difficult and sometimes impossible to classify projects by title only, and only titles were available. Between 19 and 25 percent each year could not be classified at all. It seems clear, however, that the world "experimental" as it is used in the phrase experimental, develop- mental, or pilot projects rarely refers to scientific experiments; rather, it usually seems to mean a trial accompanied by subjective evaluation. R&D Topics Priority areas are announced yearly by USOE for Section 4(c) and for the Commissioner's share of Part C. They have changed substantially from year to year for the 10-year period surveyed:
Legislation and Funding FISCAL 1965-FISCAL 1967 Program evaluation Curriculum experimentation Personal and social significance of work Personnel recruitment and development Program organization and administration Adult and continuing education Occupational information and career choice FISCAL 1968-FISCAL 1969 Application of manpower data to occupational education The student and his environment State and local planning techniques Instructional systems development Career development, guidance, placement, and follow-up Instructional facilities Organization and administration Research and development centers Evaluation FISCAL 1971 Same as fiscal 1968 and fiscal 1969, excluding R&D Centers FISCAL 1972-FISCAL 1973 Career education with a strong guidance and counseling component FISCAL 1 974 Curriculum studies Disadvantaged, handicapped and minorities Alternative work experience programs Guidance, counseling, placement and student follow-up Manpower information and system for education FISCAL 1 975 Administration of vocational education at the state level Administration of vocational education at the local level ~3
24 ASSESSING VOCATIONAL EDUCATION SEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT Comprehensive systems of guidance, counseling, placement, and follow-through Services Educational personnel serving the educationally disadvantaged, handicapped, and minorities Curriculum, demonstration, and installation studies The priority areas are very broad, indicating that USOE has chosen to study many different topics related to vocational education rather than focusing on a few. (Information on the priority-setting process and the resultant instability in priorities is presented in Chapter 5. Additional information on the shifts in emphasis among the priorities is presented in Appendix C.) The Section 4(c) program can be characterized as covering five major topics: (1) identification of current and emerging training needs, (2) vo- cational curriculum development, (3) problems of vocational education resource development, (4) vocational guidance and career choice proces- ses, and (5) adult and continuing education. In its early years, the pro- gram focused most sharply on curriculum development; in fiscal 1967 through fiscal 1969, it became involved in the development of a program called Educational System for the '70s (ES '70~. This program was intend- ed to focus primarily on equipping each high school student with a spec- ific marketable skill plus the academic prerequisites to enter a two- or four-year post-secondary institution. Throughout the 4(c) program, sup- port was also given to the establishment of new institutional programs, including funding teacher-administrator in-service training institutes, na- tional vocational education R&D centers, and state research coordinating units. Over the period fiscal 1971 to fiscal 1975, by far the largest portion ot the Commissioner's share of Part C funds was spent on career education and career guidance. This is also the only topic that received funds every year. In an attempt to assist the states with the development and imple- mentation of local career education programs, in fiscal 1972 and fiscal 1973 the Commissioner turned over to the states $9 million of the Com- missioner's share for the purpose of establishing a career education site in each state. Part D The 1968 Amendments authorize Part D funds to support exemplary, pilot, and demonstration projects at elementary and secondary school levels. Part D funds are also divided equally between the Commissioner and the states. A major emphasis of the Commissioner's share of Part D,
Legislation and Funding 25 which is 50 percent of the total, has been career education. The principal objectives of Part D projects have been to familiarize students with occu- pations and to provide work experience programs, guidance, and coun- seling. Part D projects have served as demonstration sites within each state, providing practical, operating examples of career education. As required by law, the federally administered Part D projects are geographically distributed in such a way that each state has at least one project. Additionally, a population fouls ensures that larger states receive larger awards. Most projects are funded for a three-year period. A state's share of Part D funds is usually granted by the state to local school districts or individual local schools for exemplary programs. In some states, the state Part D funds are combined with those of the feder- al share to support one project. In the first round (fiscal 1970 through fiscal 1973) of Part D funding from the Commissioner's share, at least one project in each state was funded for a three-year period, although not all projects began during the first year. The first round of funding supported 66 projects in all, and the second round (fiscal 1973 through fiscal 1976) supported 52 projects. Allocations were approximately $100,000 to $200,000 per state per year, but obligations were usually considerably less than allocations. Between fiscal 1970 and fiscal 1972, the states' share of Part D sup- ported between 300 and 410 projects per year at a median cost of ap- proximately $130,000 per project. (Development Associates calculated median rather than mean funding level due to the skewed distribution of funding levels.) Thus, both state and Commissioner's Part D projects were funded at approximately the same level. Part I Part I funds are used to promote the development and dissemination of vocational education curriculum materials, to develop standards for cur- riculum development, to coordinate state efforts and prepare current lists of available materials, to survey curriculum materials produced by other government agencies, to evaluate materials and their uses, and to train personnel in curriculum development. Nearly all of the Part I money has been spent on curriculum develop- ment and dissemination. Very little has been spent on the establishment of standards for curriculum development or on evaluation of the materi- als developed. Unlike Parts C and D, all Part I funds are federally administered. Most activities are carried out through individual projects developed in response to requests for proposals. The U.S. Commissioner of Education
26 ASSESSING VOCATIONAL EDUCATION SEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT . .. . is authorized to make grants and contracts with colleges and universities, state boards of education, and other public and nonprofit private agen- cies and institutions, as well as profit-making institutions. Project dura- tion ranges from one to four years. Because there are no geographic restrictions on Part I awards, there has not been one Part I project in each state each year. Between fiscal 1971 and fiscal 1974, Part I funds supported between 13 and 28 projects per year; the average award Ri7. ranged from $122,000 to $391,000. In 1972 the Office of Education developed 15 occupational clusters to guide curriculum development: agribusiness and natural resources, busi- ness and office, communications and media, construction, consumer and homemaking, environment, fine arts and humanities, health, manufac- turing, marine science, marketing and distribution, personal services, public service, recreation and hospitality, and transportation. This repre- sented a significant shift from the more traditional notion of seven pri- mary vocational education areas: agriculture, distributive education, health occupations, home economics, office occupations, technical edu- cation, and trade and industrial occupations. Between fiscal 1972 and fiscal 1974, more than half of the Part I curriculum development projects addressed two or more of the 15 occupational clusters. ~. . _ ~ CONCLUSIONS Several broad generalizations can be drawn from the information pre sented in this chapter. First, there has been more development and dem- or~stration than research in the past decade of vocational education R&D. In addition, most early research was largely descriptive rather than ex- perimental. In the mid-1960s there were few vocational education per- sonnel who knew how to conduct research projects and the social sci- entists involved knew little about vocational education. Second, career education has been heavily emphasized, especially in projects supported by funds from Parts C and D. In 1971, at the Com- missioner's direction, USOE invested $7.5 million of Part C and D funds in the development of six large-scale, school-based, career education models. Alternative approaches to career education were also funded in fiscal 1971; employer-based, home/community-based, and residential- based career education models were heavily supported. (In fiscal 1975, for the first time, a separate career education budget of nearly $10 mil- lion was approved by Congress.) Third, there has been much activity in curriculum development, al- though Part I has always been the smallest of the three parts. Part C has supported the development and dissemination of many curriculum mate
Legislation and Funding rials. Part D has also supported demonstration sites to aid in the installa- tion of new curricula. It should be noted that many of the data that would have helped this Committee describe the vocational education R&D program were not available. For example, only project titles, name of grantee or contractor, and amount of award were available for state Part C projects: even short abstracts of the projects could not be obtained. Final reports, when sub- mitted, are sent to ERIC, where they may or may not be reproduced, and stored by USOE in permanent, relatively inaccessible files. If this informa- tion had been readily available, the Committee could have prepared a more thorough description and assessment of the R&D programs. 27