Rep. Miller Calls on Secretary Spellings to Release Reports
Today, U.S. House Committee on Science Member Rep. Brad Miller (D-NC) called on Education Secretary Margaret Spellings to publicly release materials that led Department officials to decide two Department-sponsored reports should not be made public because they failed to meet "scholarship standards." The reports were on charter school performance and bilingual education.
In a letter to Secretary Spellings Congressman Miller wrote, "I encourage the Department to maintain rigorous standards of scholarship in the studies commissioned by the Department, and I do not support providing the Department's imprimatur to studies that fall short of those standards. I am concerned, however, by the suspicions of scholars familiar with the studies that the stated reason for not releasing the studies, the lack of scientific rigor, was not the real reason. Those scholars suspect that the real reason was that the conclusions of those two studies were contrary to the Department's policies or were otherwise politically troublesome."
Rep. Miller orally requested the release of this information at a March 30 Science Committee hearing entitled K-12 Science and Math Education Across the Federal Agencies. He expressed concern to Secretary Spellings over the Department of Education’s "bad science" explanation for why the reports were not released.
Although Secretary Spellings said she’d review the matter, Rep. Miller asserts, "At bottom, the question really is whether the Department is testing their policy assumptions against rigorous research or, well, fixing the research around the policy. Hasn't that question come up in other policy areas?"