20 USC 9501 - Definitions

In this subchapter:
(1) In general 
The terms elementary school, secondary school, local educational agency, and State educational agency have the meanings given those terms in section 7801 of this title and the terms freely associated states and outlying area have the meanings given those terms in section 6331 (c) of this title.
(2) Applied research 
The term applied research means research
(A) to gain knowledge or understanding necessary for determining the means by which a recognized and specific need may be met; and
(B) that is specifically directed to the advancement of practice in the field of education.

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(3) Basic research 
The term basic research means research
(A) to gain fundamental knowledge or understanding of phenomena and observable facts, without specific application toward processes or products; and
(B) for the advancement of knowledge in the field of education.
(4) Board 
The term Board means the National Board for Education Sciences established under section 9516 of this title.
(5) Bureau 
The term Bureau means the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
(6) Comprehensive center 
The term comprehensive center means an entity established under section 9602 of this title.
(7) Department 
The term Department means the Department of Education.
(8) Development 
The term development means the systematic use of knowledge or understanding gained from the findings of scientifically valid research and the shaping of that knowledge or understanding into products or processes that can be applied and evaluated and may prove useful in areas such as the preparation of materials and new methods of instruction and practices in teaching, that lead to the improvement of the academic skills of students, and that are replicable in different educational settings.
(9) Director 
The term Director means the Director of the Institute of Education Sciences.
(10) Dissemination 
The term dissemination means the communication and transfer of the results of scientifically valid research, statistics, and evaluations, in forms that are understandable, easily accessible, and usable, or adaptable for use in, the improvement of educational practice by teachers, administrators, librarians, other practitioners, researchers, parents, policymakers, and the public, through technical assistance, publications, electronic transfer, and other means.

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(11) Early childhood educator 
The term early childhood educator means a person providing, or employed by a provider of, nonresidential child care services (including center-based, family-based, and in-home child care services) that is legally operating under State law, and that complies with applicable State and local requirements for the provision of child care services to children at any age from birth through the age at which a child may start kindergarten in that State.
(12) Field-initiated research 
The term field-initiated research means basic research or applied research in which specific questions and methods of study are generated by investigators (including teachers and other practitioners) and that conforms to standards of scientifically valid research.
(13) Historically Black college or university 
The term historically Black college or university means a part B institution as defined in section 1061 of this title.
(14) Institute 
The term Institute means the Institute of Education Sciences established under section 9511 of this title.
(15) Institution of higher education 
The term institution of higher education has the meaning given that term in section 1001 (a) of this title.
(16) National research and development center 
The term national research and development center means a research and development center supported under section 9533 (c) of this title.
(17) Provider of early childhood services 
The term provider of early childhood services means a public or private entity that serves young children, including
(A) child care providers;
(B) Head Start agencies operating Head Start programs, and entities carrying out Early Head Start programs, under the Head Start Act (42 U.S.C. 9831 et seq.);
(C) preschools;
(D) kindergartens; and
(E) libraries.
(18) Scientifically based research standards 

(A) The term scientifically based research standards means research standards that
(i) apply rigorous, systematic, and objective methodology to obtain reliable and valid knowledge relevant to education activities and programs; and
(ii) present findings and make claims that are appropriate to and supported by the methods that have been employed.
(B) The term includes, appropriate to the research being conducted
(i) employing systematic, empirical methods that draw on observation or experiment;
(ii) involving data analyses that are adequate to support the general findings;
(iii) relying on measurements or observational methods that provide reliable data;
(iv) making claims of causal relationships only in random assignment experiments or other designs (to the extent such designs substantially eliminate plausible competing explanations for the obtained results);
(v) ensuring that studies and methods are presented in sufficient detail and clarity to allow for replication or, at a minimum, to offer the opportunity to build systematically on the findings of the research;
(vi) obtaining acceptance by a peer-reviewed journal or approval by a panel of independent experts through a comparably rigorous, objective, and scientific review; and
(vii) using research designs and methods appropriate to the research question posed.
(19) Scientifically valid education evaluation 
The term scientifically valid education evaluation means an evaluation that
(A) adheres to the highest possible standards of quality with respect to research design and statistical analysis;
(B) provides an adequate description of the programs evaluated and, to the extent possible, examines the relationship between program implementation and program impacts;
(C) provides an analysis of the results achieved by the program with respect to its projected effects;
(D) employs experimental designs using random assignment, when feasible, and other research methodologies that allow for the strongest possible causal inferences when random assignment is not feasible; and
(E) may study program implementation through a combination of scientifically valid and reliable methods.
(20) Scientifically valid research 
The term scientifically valid research includes applied research, basic research, and field-initiated research in which the rationale, design, and interpretation are soundly developed in accordance with scientifically based research standards.
(21) Secretary 
The term Secretary means the Secretary of Education.
(22) State 
The term State includes (except as provided in section 9548 of this title) each of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the freely associated states, and the outlying areas.
(23) Technical assistance 
The term technical assistance means
(A) assistance in identifying, selecting, or designing solutions based on research, including professional development and high-quality training to implement solutions leading to
(i) improved educational and other practices and classroom instruction based on scientifically valid research; and
(ii) improved planning, design, and administration of programs;
(B) assistance in interpreting, analyzing, and utilizing statistics and evaluations; and
(C) other assistance necessary to encourage the improvement of teaching and learning through the applications of techniques supported by scientifically valid research.