About Real Education Reform

Public education is a vital institution in the United States, and it must be improved in order to promote, protect, and ensure the well-being of individual citizens and the society as a whole. Over the years, many reforms have been proposed. What criteria should educators and legislators use to evaluate reforms? And which reforms should be selected and implemented?

Real Education Reform offers answers to these questions. Most importantly, reforms should be based on scientific theory and research. This means that reforms should be tested and verified through well-designed studies. In addition, reforms should produce impressive gains in student learning. Unfortunately, these essential criteria are often overlooked. In their highly regarded book E-Learning and the Science of Instruction (2011), researchers Ruth C. Clark and Richard E. Mayer state:

When you design a course, you can base your decisions on a variety of sources, including fads (that is, do what is commonly done), opinions (that is, do what experts advise), politics (that is, do what the subject-matter experts or the legal department advises), or ideology (that is, do what seems consistent with a particular approach to instruction)…we favor evidence-based practice — the idea that instructional techniques should be based on research findings and research-based theory (p. 50).

Real Education Reform reports on a few reforms that have been shown to greatly enhance student learning. The reforms are backed by more than mere rhetoric. They're backed by solid research.

Ryan Murray
Master of Education in Instructional Technology
North Carolina State University