Education Searches beyond ERIC: Government Policies, Teaching, and Technology
Keiser, Barbie E., Searcher
Information Resources Management Consultant
No article could comprehensively review all aspects of education as the Web intersects it or even all the resources available to educators, parents, children, and other concerned individuals. Rather, with it I will try to present a representative sampling of the types of resources made available by academic institutions, government agencies, not-for-profit organizations, and commercial enterprises. Tables describe the type of information, assistance, and other resources you will find on Web sites in the hope that you will go on to discover "more like these" to add to your own set of Web favorites.
Government Agencies Around the World
One undisputed responsibility of government is to assure that its population gets an education, if only because of the correlation between education and economics. In general, the more educated the workforce, the more prosperous the country. One can check return on investment by consulting the Worldbank Education Statistics Database [http://wwwl.worldbank.org/ education/edstats/]. Two other sources known for international education data include UNESCO and the U.S. Agency for International Development.
* The Country Dossiers have been created by UNESCO's International Bureau of Education that bring together various information resources on education. The Dossiers permits users to gain rapid access to data up through the fall of 2004 in each country [http://www.ibe.unesco.org/].
* The Global Education Database [http://qesdb. cdie.org/ged/index.html] is a repository of international education statistics compiled from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics and Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS). USAID plans to update this online database as new data become available.
In 2003, the U.S. Department of Education decided to close all Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) Clearinghouses and re-vamp its bibliographic database to include full text. "More than 107,000 full-text non-journal documents (issued 1993-2004), previously available through fee-based services only, are now available for free." The new site, available at http://www.eric.ed.gov/, became fully functional in August 2005, with 6,788 new records. The new material has begun to appear in vendor files (e.g., ProQuest, Cambridge Scientific, EBSCO, OVID). Subsequent updates are expected the first week of each month and an updated thesaurus is expected in October 2005.
Government initiatives regarding education at the national, state, and local level exist beyond federal agencies. Significant education resources have been created by governments around the world. Some of these are listed in Table 1 beginning on page 40.
The need to improve education through reform always generates heated debate. No effort has affected the conduct of education more than the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act of 2002 [http://www.ed.gov/nclb/landing.jhtml].
* Each state has addressed the legislative requirements of NCLLB in a different manner, with mixed results concerning the achievement of students, teacher performance, and school district management. As an example, see Illinois' approach to NCLB at http://www.isbe.state.il.us/nclb/default.htm.
* Communities for Quality Education "has compiled new data that shows the number of school that did not make adequately yearly progress [AYP] according to the federal No Child Left Behind [NCLB] law for school year 2005-2006." Its Web site analyzes efforts being made to fix NCLB in 47 states [http://www.qualityednow.org/index.php].
* Teacher organizations have focused on NCLB; one such example is the National Science Teachers Association [http://www.nsta.org/nclb] Communities.
* Commercial entities provide resources for parents and teachers geared toward NCLB, such as those provided by the Family Education Network [http://www.teachervision.fen.com/page/10287. …