New Programs at the Penn Graduate School of Education Aim to Prepare Scientific Researchers in Education

PHILADELPHIA -- With the introduction of two new degree programs, the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education will equip education researchers with techniques of quantitative analysis fundamental to social science research.

Both the No Child Left Behind Act of 2002 and recent Congressional legislation to establish an autonomous Institute of Education Sciences stress the importance of scientific approaches to education research and the need for research-driven policy reforms based on sound scientific evidence. Penn's Graduate School of Education, whose faculty includes some of the finest education researchers in the country, will broaden its degree options in education research with two new master's degrees in statistics, measurement and evaluation, preparing highly qualified analysts of quantitative data.

Both the new Master of Science in Statistics, Measurement and Research Technology and the Master of Philosophy in Policy Research, Evaluation and Measurement are designed to prepare graduates for mid-level positions in education and related social-service fields.

"By training students to conduct rigorous research and sophisticated data analyses, these two programs represent an important step toward strengthening the role of scientific research in the field of education," said Dr. Erling Boe, a professor of education who worked on developing both programs.

The one-year Master of Science will provide students with understanding and skills in data collection, management and processing; measurement theory and test construction; survey design; assessment strategies; and statistical analysis and reporting.

The Master of Philosophy, which represents the second year of study following from the Master of Science, will advance students' knowledge of scale development and validation, research design and controlled field trials, multivariate statistical analyses and the production of high-quality evidence for decision-making in public and organizational policy.