FirstEval-Melissa Kovacs


Bias and Ideology

Two interesting news items to note:

1.       The National Education Policy Center (NEPC) has released a book claiming that the Obama administration has not backed up their education policy agenda with research.  In this age of evidence-based policy-making, this is quite a claim.  They state that the administration’s research summaries are too biased and simplified, and not based enough in existing research.

2.       Who is the NEPC?  It is a new collaboration of education policy scholars who merged to form a new think tank at the University of Colorado at Boulder.  One of their larger products is a review of existing think tanks relative to bias and ideology.

Overall, researchers / scholars and those who publish for policy-makers should police ourselves, and we certainly do have a proliferation of small think tanks in university settings to examine.   Yet are any of us objective?  Does a think tank exist that is not slightly influenced by ideology?  As researchers, how can we eliminate our own bias from our work, from the research design process to the reporting of results?  As I tell my students, you can’t assume there is no bias in the literature you read.

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