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National Academies Publishes K-12 Behavioral and Social Sciences Education Workshop Proceedings

The Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has published the proceedings of their recent workshop entitled “The Social and Behavioral Science in K-12 Education: Past, Present, and Future.” The brief includes a summary of the seminar held in November 2016, perspectives from different social and behavioral science disciplines, and recommended next steps. The brief can be read here.

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Posted in Issue 10 (May 16), Update, Volume 36 (2017)

Academies Report Examines Impact of Social Competencies on College Success

On April 13, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education released a report, Supporting Students’ College Success: The Role of Assessment of Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Competencies. Supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the report “examines how to assess interpersonal and intrapersonal competencies (e.g., teamwork, communication skills, academic mindset, and grit) of undergraduate students for different purposes.” It also establishes “priorities for the development and use of assessments related to the identified intrapersonal and interpersonal competencies that influence higher education success, especially in STEM.” Central themes of the report include diversity and inclusion. Special attention was given to research on “student groups that have historically experienced lowered college persistence and success than other groups” including black, Hispanic, and American Indian racial/ethnic minority groups, students from low-income families, first-generation college students, and women in particular STEM disciplines. The committee concluded that additional research is needed and made 13 recommendations, including that federal agencies and foundations support “rigorous research, in partnership with higher education institutions, to understand better the three most-promising competencies and their relationship to college success.” Copies of the report are available on the Academies’ website.

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Posted in Issue 8 (April 18), Update, Volume 36 (2017)

AAA&S Report Makes Recommendations for Improved U.S. Language Education

On February 28, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAA&S), a COSSA member, released, America’s Languages: Investing in Language Education for the 21st Century, the final report of the Commission on Language Learning. A bipartisan group of U.S. Members of Congress requested that AAA&S establish the Commission in order “to examine the current state of U.S. language education, to project what the nation’s education needs will be in the future, and to offer recommendations for ways to meet those needs.”

The Commission found that only 10 percent of the U.S. population speaks a second language proficiently, a number insufficient to meet either the nation’s current or future demand. At the report release event, Ambassador Nancy McEldowney, Director of the Foreign Service Institute and a Commission member, noted that it is far more cost effective for the U.S. government to hire people who already possess language skills, rather than teaching those skills to its employees. Individuals who can speak a second language exhibit improved cognitive skills and are faster at learning additional languages.

The Commission offered five recommendations for increasing language education, with the ultimate goal of exposing 100 percent of U.S. students to a second language. Paul LeClerc, the Commission’s Chairman and Director of the Columbia University Global Center in Paris, said that a lack of language teachers is the main obstacle to this goal. The report’s first recommendation is increasing the number of language teachers in U.S. schools, which would require considering language instruction as an education priority, equivalent to math education. The Commission suggested two research areas that would aid in this increase: an investigation of the state of language programs at a school district level and evaluation of using digital technology in language instruction. The report also suggests developing higher education consortia to encourage advanced language study and a student loan forgiveness program for language teachers.

The report also recommends increased support for heritage language speakers (those who grow up with a second language at home), Native American languages, study abroad opportunities, and partnerships between public and private language education stakeholders. The Commission released a companion report, The State of Languages in the U.S.: A Statistical Portrait, in December 2016, which contains data backing the final report.

This article was contributed by COSSA’s spring intern, Laila Rosenthal of American University.

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Posted in Issue 5 (March 7), Update, Volume 36 (2017)

Department of Education Seeks Nominations for National Assessment Governing Board

The Department of Education seeks candidates for four open seats on its National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB). The Board sets policy for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), a nationally representative measure of U.S. students’ knowledge and abilities in core academic subjects. NAEP is broadly recognized as the gold standard in testing. NAGB is composed of 26 members consisting of “governors, state legislators, chief state school officers, a local school superintendent, local and state school board members, principals, classroom teachers, curriculum and testing experts, a business representative, a representative of nonpublic schools, and members of the general public, including parents.” Specifically, NAGB seeks to fill the following positions: elementary school principal, general public representative (2 positions), and a testing and measurement expert. Nominations are due October 28, 2016. For more information, see NAGB’s website.

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Posted in Issue 18 (September 20), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

AERA Releases “Ed-Talks”

The American Educational Research Association (AERA), a COSSA governing member, has released over thirty “Ed-Talk” videos, which feature discussions of cutting-edge research on education and learning. Additionally, AERA released research fact sheets to provide more details on the findings and research presented in the “Ed-Talks”. These presentations were given at a forum held in Washington, DC as well as the AERA annual meeting in April of 2016. More details can be found here.

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Posted in Issue 18 (September 20), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

Preliminary Details of House Labor-HHS Bill Released

On July 7, the House Labor, Health and Human Services and Education (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Subcommittee passed its fiscal year (FY) 2017 appropriations bill for agencies and programs under its jurisdiction, which include the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Department of Education, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), among others. While text of the draft appropriations bill was released to coincide with the Subcommittee markup, the Committee Report is not expected to be released until the bill is marked up by the full Appropriations Committee on Wednesday (July 13).

Read on for preliminary details of the bill’s proposals for agencies important to the social and behavioral sciences, and check back later in the week for a full analysis of the bill and report language. (more…)

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Posted in Issue 14 (July 12), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

Funding Opportunity Announcements

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Posted in Issue 13 (June 28), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

Senate Presses Forward on 2017 Spending Bills

The Senate Appropriations Committee has been making progress over the last several weeks on its fiscal year (FY) 2017 appropriations bills in an effort to pass as many of the bills as possible before heading home in mid-July for the party conventions and August recess (follow all of the developments on the COSSA website).  The FY 2017 Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS) Appropriations Bill, which made it out of Committee on April 21, is expected to be on the Senate floor later this week. Stay tuned – COSSA will be closely monitoring the floor debate as this is when we could see amendments that could harm social science research accounts.

In addition, on June 9, the Senate Appropriations Committee reported out the FY 2017 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Bill. This bill serves as the vehicle for annual appropriations for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Education (ED), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), as well as many other federal departments and agencies. Committee members noted that this bill represents the first bipartisan Senate Labor-HHS bill in seven years; this tends to be one of the more controversial and divisive of the 12 appropriations bills given that it provides funding for the Department of Health and Human Services and sections of the Affordable Care Act. The House has yet to release its version of the bill, but is rumored to have something ready by the end of the month.

Check out COSSA’s in-depth analysis for full details.

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Posted in Issue 12 (June 14), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

IES to Hold Webinars on FY 2017 Funding Opportunities

The Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES) has scheduled a series of webinars for individuals interested in fiscal year (FY) 2017 funding opportunities. IES’ National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) and the National Center for Education Research (NCER) are hosting the free webinars, which will cover a variety of topics, including teachers and instructional personnel, basic overview of research grants, researcher-practitioner partnerships in education, funding opportunities for minority serving institutions, special education research training for early career development and mentoring, the IES application process, research networks focused on critical problems of policy and practice, and grant writing, among others.

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Posted in Issue 11 (May 31), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

Funding Opportunity Announcements

NIH opportunities:

  • NIA: Aging Research to Address Health Disparities (Admin Supplement) (PA-16-225)
  • NIH: Health Services Research on Minority Health and Health Disparities (R01) (PAR-16-221), (R21) (PAR-16-222) [NIMHD, NIAAA, NIDA]
  • NIDA: NIDA Research Education Program for Clinical Researchers and Clinicians (R25) (PAR-16-224)
  • NCI: Innovative Approaches to Studying Cancer Communication in the New Media Environment (R21) (PAR-16-248), (R01) ((PAR-16-249)
  • NCI: Cancer-related Behavioral Research through Integrating Existing Data (R01) (PAR-16-256), (R21) (PAR-16-255)
  • NCI: Predicting Behavioral Responses to Population-Level Cancer Control Strategies (R21) (PAR-16-257)
  • NIAAA: Specialized Alcohol Research Centers (P50) (RFA-AA-17-001), (P60) (RFA-AA-17-002)
  • NIA: Nathan Shock Centers Coordinating Center (U24) (RFA-AG-17-008)
  • NIA: From Association to Function in the Alzheimers Disease Post Genomics Era (R01) (RFA-AG-17-010), (R21) (RFA-AG-17-011)
  • NIDA: Prescription Drug Abuse (R21) (PA-16-232), (R01) (PA-16-233)
  • NIDA, NCI, NIAAA: Accelerating the Pace of Drug Abuse Research Using Existing Data (R01) (PAR-16-234)
  • NIGMS: Limited Competition: Renewal of Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE)(P20) (PAR-16-241)
  • NIH: BD2K Predoctoral Training in Biomedical Big Data Science (T32) (RFA-LM-16-002) [NLM, NCATS, NCCIH, NCI, NEI, NHGRI, NHLBI, NIA, NIAAA, NIAID, NIAMS, NIBIB, NICHD, NIDA, NIDCD, NIDCR, NIDDK, NIEHS, NIMH, NIMHD, NINDS, NINR, OBSSR, ODP, DPCPSI (ORIP), ORWH, Common Fund/Office of Strategic Coordination]
  • NIH: Dissemination and Implementation Research in Health (R21) (PAR-16-236), (R03) (PAR-16-237), (R01) (PAR-16-238) [NCI, NCCIH, NHGRI, NIA, NIAAA, NIAID, NICHD, NIDA, NIDCD, NIDCR, NIEHS, NIMH, NIMHD, NINDS, NINR, OBSSR, ODP]

NINR: Building Evidence: Effective Palliative/End of Life Care Interventions (R01) (PAR-16-250)

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Posted in Issue 10 (May 17), Update, Volume 35 (2016)

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