- 日本教育行政学会年報 (ISSN:09198393)
- vol.42, pp.69-85, 2016 (Released:2019-03-20)
This paper examines the relationship between the empirical policy research and the education finance and education policy process, and clarifies the agenda of future research.“Evidence based policy” has been advocated in the context of today's political decision making everywhere. The area of education policy is no exemption. At the end of 2015, The Council on Economic and Finance Policy announced the “Action Program for Economic and Fiscal Revitalization” that emphasized the necessities of visualization of the financial input and policy output, concretization of “key performance indicators”, and research between inputs and outputs.High quality data and empirical research are the necessary conditions of evidence based policy but not sufficient conditions. We can learn lessons from the past experience of the US education policy process. The politicization of policy research and evidence has been frequently observed in the context of the plural democracy of the US. We can find some reasons for the politicization of the empirical policy research. First, the evidence on education policy and finance is fragile, the policy effects are subtle, and this indecisiveness urges the political actors to take advantage of the evidence. Second, the methodology of quantitative analysis is much easier than in the past because of the lower cost of computers and easy-touse statistical packages. In spite of the greater technical sophistication, the risk and danger of misuse of the statistical techniques has become more pervasive. Third, as the outstanding nature of the field of education, the discrepancy of the knowledge between the policy researchers and the practitioners has been a serious problem.The methodology of the policy evaluation, especially the analysis of treatment effects on the program evaluation, is too sophisticated for outsiders today to understand. However, this does not mean that the arguments about it are merely technical, or not the concern of persons on the street and practitioners because they has important policy implications. At least, the significant issues we seriously have to consider are the objects for evaluation―program or organization, which do we intend to evaluate?―, the difference between the (quasi-) experimental methods and the theory based “structural” methods, the relationship between internal validity and external validity, the consideration of noncognitive skills as the policy outputs.Based on the above, for sound“ informed democracy” and controlling the politicization of the empirical policy research, we need to consider both the object-level issues regarding the implications of methodology and meta-level issues regarding evidence based education policy process.