National Education Policy Center’s Bunkum Awards

Dear Commons Community,

As many of us know, education research particularly at the K-12 level has become politicized by the various government agencies, private foundations and by some of our colleagues in academia.  The mission of the National Education Policy Center(NEPC) is to produce and disseminate high-quality, peer-reviewed research to inform education policy discussions. Part of its activities is to “debunk” what it considers poor research especially that which is done to foster political positions.

Yesterday the Center announced its annual Bunkum Awards.    The first-place winner or The Good Enough for Government Work Award, went to the Obama administration for its research summaries in support of A Blueprint for Reform. “Our esteemed panel of judges solemnly considered whether the federal government was even eligible for such an award. With so many resources at its disposal, the government seems to have an unfair advantage. But the Blueprint research summaries stood out in two ways that we felt needed recognition. First, they almost religiously avoided acknowledging or using the large body of high-quality research that the federal government itself had commissioned and published over the years. Second, they first raised our expectations with repeated assurances that recommended policies would be solidly grounded in research – only to then dash those hopes in research summary after research summary.”

Summaries of the all eight of the NEPC’s awards for 2010 can be found at:


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