Public Policy Briefs

Science Directorate Staff Meet With Head of OERI

William Howell, PhD, and other key Science Directorate and Public Policy staff, met in October with Sharon Robinson, Assistant Secretary of Education and head of the Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI), to discuss important research issues. Following its reorganization, which created five institutes and reduced the number of research centers from 15 to 7, OERI must reestablish research priorities, revamp its peer review process, and determine standards for grantees. The Office is also reviewing its program evaluation systems and must adapt to new requirements for documenting the effectiveness of federally funded educational programs. OERI sought APA's recommendations on these and other pertinent issues and initiatives.

Although OERI's overall 1996 budget is projected to be significantly smaller than its 1995 budget, it appears for now that two areas of interest to psychologists--research on assessment and field-initiated studies--will be spared. For the first time, 20% of research funds will be set aside for field-initiated studies, and research on assessment is expected to be funded at the same level as it was for 1995. However, it should be noted that the final 1996 funding levels for education are dependent on the last resolution of the 1996 federal budget.

Marrett to Leave National Science Foundation (NSF)

Cora Marrett, PhD, Assistant Director of NSF for the Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE) Directorate will leave her post in May or June of 1996. Dr. Marrett is the first SBE Director and has successfully guided the Directorate through its formative years.

A search committee has been established to find her successor, and it is expected that the open position will be formally announced in early 1996. Dr. Marrett provided leadership in defending SBE and the research it supports when its value was questioned by the chair of the House Science Committee this past fall. Her leadership will be sorely missed.

NSF has assured the behavioral and social science community that it will appoint Marrett's successor soon.

Grassroots Advocay Coordinator Hired in PPO

Barbara Guglielmo joined the Public Policy Office (PPO) this fall as PPO's first Advocacy Coordinator. Guglielmo is responsible for coordinating the Public Policy grassroots database, which includes the Science Advocate Network. She will maintain the database, recruit new members for the list, and distribute action and information alerts to its members. She is also helping to coordinate the content of the PPO web page.

Guglielmo came to APA from the National Science Foundation where she was a student intern in the Education and Human Resources Directorate. While working at APA, she is also pursuing a PhD in sociology at Catholic University.

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