Public Interest and Research Goals

While there is a significant body of research regarding the subject of the benefits of school, family, and community connections to student success, there are few experimental or quasi-experimental studies for us to draw from. This is the case for most areas of educational research, there is not enough long-term research because of funding limits, and many studies suffer from small sample sizes and self reporting rather than independent verification. This forces publishers of large scale studies as well as people like myself to either significantly hedge our claims, even though they may very well be true, because little can be said about cause and effect because of the incomplete nature of many of the research that there is to draw from. Research has the potential to be a powerful force for change, but if incomplete can either be passed over as not convincing or provide misleading conclusions and hinder progress. There is a pressing need for more funding that is well directed so as to help provide more insight into education, a very complex topic which relies upon a great number of factors that we lack complete understanding of. This is not to say that the government need demand more money from the people to fund this research, however it may be beneficial to rethink the allocation of already present funds. This could also be bolstered from sources such as nonprofit organizations, fundraising, and philanthropists who understand the need for more knowledge in this field. Making our voices hear is essential to this goal, to continue to expand our individual and collective understanding for the sake of progress. I have talked about the need for parents to care about their children’s education so that they can make an impact. We all must care enough to change, the movement for better education is just as dependent upon the support of the people as the civil rights movement. Education is a social mechanism, the crossroads of different ideas and bodies of information, in or out of a classroom. When the educational system fails we must look at it as a social issue, affected not only by its construct but the ideals of the people within it. The enemies of progress are ignorance and apathy, they feed off each other, stopping us in our tracks.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” ~Edmund Burke

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