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Title:Origins of a conflict: The National Institute of Education, the laboratories and centers, and the Congress, 1972-1976
Author(s):Breedlove, Carolyn Jean
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Rubin, Louis J.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, History of
Political Science, Public Administration
Abstract:Congress established the National Institute of Education (NIE) in 1972 as a means of bringing bold new approaches to education through the application of research and development (R&D) principles. From the beginning, conflicts emerged about the specific goals of the institute and how it should function. A central issue was whether the new institute should begin with a clean slate or incorporate the work of existing educational R&D providers. Most of the new NIE leaders came from the "clean slate" camp. Nonetheless, two agencies transferred existing R&D programs into NIE, immediately creating internal tension.
This case study historically traces the multidimensional conflict that developed between NIE and a set of existing research and development providers, the regional educational laboratories and research and development centers (LCs). In preparation for transfer of the LCs to NIE, the Office of Education conducted an evaluation resulting in massive program cuts and the demise of several institutions. Shortly after opening, NIE faced unexpected budget constraints. Since most had not wanted to inherit programs anyway, NIE staff saw the LC funding, if redirected, as an attractive source of funds for new initiatives. Although the laboratories and centers were not natural allies, NIE's threat to their continued existence fostered a strong coalition. The study provides a detailed history of the organization of LCs and the Council for Educational Development Research (CEDaR).
CEDaR evolved from a communications office into a powerful force, educating the Congress and others about the importance of the federal investment in the LCs. Implementing a targeted communications plan, CEDaR was successful in securing two crucial Congressional provisions in 1975 and 1976: a set-aside of NIE funds for the LCs, and authorization for a Panel for the Review of Laboratory and Center Operations. In contrast, NIE's early years were marked by serious Congressional cuts and challenges. The analysis explores the role of trust and dimensions that contributed to the success of CEDaR and the LCs.
Issue Date:1996
Rights Information:Copyright 1996 Breedlove, Carolyn Jean
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9702466
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9702466

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