Messenger - Vol. 2, No. 1, Page 11
Fall 1992
'Think Tank' comes to campus

     Almost everyone who talks about public education these days agrees
that reform and change are needed.
      But the agreement stops there. The whats, whys and hows of
educational reform bring forth conflicting theories, opinions and ideas
from well-meaning and sincere people.
      What to do? That's where the University's new Center for Educational
Research and Development enters the picture.
      A non-partisan, independent "think tank" that will make
recommendations based on solid research, the center is a collaboration by
the University, the Delaware Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and
Delaware State College in Dover.
      A $2 million grant from the Du Pont Co. launched the center in June.
A total of $12 million, half to be raised from the private sector, will be
needed to fund the center for five years.
      According to state school superintendent Pascal Forgione, in his "New
Directions for Education in Delaware" proposal, three basic questions are
the starting place for educational reform:
        * What is it that all students must know and learn?
        * How will we know when students have accomplished the task?
        * What is the best way to help the students enhance their learning?
      The center's mission will be to provide a research base to help
answer these questions and other issues related to curriculum, measures of
student performance, school restructuring, teacher and administrator
standards, educational finance and long-term policy studies.
      Operational this fall, the center is staffed by five educational
researchers and a director. The latter is both a University faculty member
and deputy state superintendent for policy analysis, serving in the state
superintendent's cabinet and providing a link between policy/practice and
      An advisory board, chaired by the state superintendent, will include
the presidents of the University, Delaware State College and the State
Board of Education, among others.
      According to Frank B. Murray, H. Rodney Sharp Professor of
Educational Studies and dean of the College of Education, the Delaware
Center for Educational Research and Development "is an idea whose time has
                                   --Sue Swyers Moncure