Letter from Rep. Brad Miller to Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings Requesting Release of Reports
April 17, 2006
The Honorable Margaret Spellings
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20202
Dear Secretary Spellings:
I am writing to request again the information that I requested of you orally at the hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science on March 30, 2006, entitled "K-12 Science and Math Education Across the Federal Agencies." The information pertains to the decision by the Department of Education not to release publicly two studies sponsored by the Department.
First, in June of 2004, SRI International completed the third part of a study commissioned by the Department to evaluate charter school performance. The study concluded that children in charter schools performed less well in state testing than children attending traditional public schools. The Department's stated reason for not releasing the study was that the report did not meet the scientific or methodological standards demanded by the Department. The study became public as a result of a request by The New York Times under the Freedom of Information Act.
Second, last year the Department failed to release the report of a study on the education of children for whom English is a second language. The study was conducted with $1 million in funding from the Department, and apparently concluded that bilingual education was more effective in educating children with limited English proficiency that "English only" instruction. I understand that after months of negotiation, the Department has now agreed to relinquish its copyright on the report, and the report will be published by a private publisher, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. I understand from your responses to my questions at the March 30 hearing that the Department's reason for not releasing that study was similar to the stated reason for not releasing the study of charter school performance....