The Institute of Education Sciences, created as part of the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002, is the primary research arm of the United States Department of Education. It is the successor to the Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI). The first director of IES was Grover Whitehurst, appointed in November 2002. The current director of IES is John Q. Easton, appointed in June 2009.
IES is divided into four major research and statistics centers:
The IES has conducted randomized controlled trials in schools to find out practical answers to questions like whether some textbooks are better than others and whether certain professional development programs for teachers improve student achievement. It is a significant source of scientifically based research for compliance with the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.