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Edward A. Silver

Throughout the world, members of the education research community have long decried the lack of attention to research and scholarship that is evident in most education policies promulgated by state, provincial, and national legislatures. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 2001 (ESEA 2001), which was recently signed into law in the United States, is an interesting case to consider in this regard. Because ESEA 2001 states that education programs and policies should rely on “scientifically based research,” it appears at first glance to offer a welcome counterexample to the longstanding tendency of policy professionals to ignore research when setting education policy. Unfortunately, I fear that this new development may be a good example of the kind of outcome my grandmother had in mind when she used to say, “Be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it!” Readers of JRME both inside and outside the United States may find it interesting to contrast the case of ESEA 2001 with other instances of education policy with which they are familiar.

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Edward A. Silver

The Journal for Research in Mathematics Education is an outlet for the publication of high-quality scholarship on mathematics teaching and learning. In particular, it is a place for scholars to publish the findings of research studies that pertain to a wide variety of issues in this broad domain. As the National Research Council noted in its recent report on educational research (NRC, 2002), it is through the processes of peer review and journal publication that research questions, methods, and findings are made available for professional and public scrutiny. Peer review and publication are central to the development and dissemination of scientific knowledge. Thus, JRME, along with other research journals in our field, can be seen as playing a key role in the transformation of individual research into community property, which Shulman (1999) argues is a requirement for scholarship to become “useful and credible” (p. 161).

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Edward A. Silver

I am finishing this editorial on Labor Day, a holiday in the United States that is viewed by many as a marker of the end of summer. In the past, most U.S. public schools resumed classes immediately after Labor Day, although in recent years it has become more typical for the school year to begin prior to Labor Day, at some time in August. So it is at this time that I find myself thinking about R and R—the rest and relaxation that I wish I had gotten over the summer! I hope that the readers of JRME were more successful than the editor in making time for at least some rest, relaxation, and renewal during the summer months. The focus of this editorial, however, is on another version of R and R that is also on my mind at this time: revise and resubmit.

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Edward A. Silver

The U.S. National Science Foundation recently announced the most recent round of awards in its program to fund national Centers for Learning and Teaching.

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Edward A. Silver

In the United States these days, there is a surprising amount of attention being paid to the improvement of research in education. Calls are heard across the land for greater rigor in educational research so that scientific evidence and research-based practices can guide educational improvement. (For more on this, see my editorial in the March 2002 issue [Silver, 2002].) My colleagues in other countries tell me that this rhetoric is also beginning to seep across the borders and oceans surrounding the United States and is finding its way into political and professional discourse regarding education around the world.

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Edward A. Silver

The Journal for Research in Mathematics Education (JRME) is rare among major educational research journals. It is one of very few published by an organization whose membership consists primarily of teachers at the precollege level. JRME is also rare in the portfolio of publications produced by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM). The intended target audience for NCTM's other journals and most of its books is teachers and those who work to prepare and support teachers in their work. In contrast, although JRME also contains research reports that could be of interest to practitioners, especially in the face of recent calls for research-based evidence, the journal's primary target audience is researchers. This unique situation offers many opportunities, yet it also poses some challenges. Over the years, the journal has depended on the effective management of these opportunities and challenges not only by its editors but also by staff at NCTM's Headquarters.

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Edward A. Silver

One of the most important tasks performed by the editor of the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education (JRME) is the selection of manuscript reviewers. JRME, like all peer-reviewed research journals, depends heavily on volunteer reviewers. Because Steve Williams, editor-designate of JRME, is now handling the selection of reviewers for new manuscript submissions, this seems like an appropriate moment in time for me to reflect on the crucial contribution to the journal made by reviewers during my term as editor.

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Edward A. Silver

Being fond of puzzles and word play, I was recently attracted to Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters, by Mark Dunn. Ella, the main character in this book, is a girl living on a small island off the coast of North Carolina. This fictional island is famous for one thing—it was once the home of Nevin Nollop, author of what is arguably the most famous English language pangram, a phrase containing all the letters in the modern English alphabet: “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” In a central location in the main town on this island is erected a statue to Nollop. High above the monument is a structure to which are affixed tiles, each containing one letter, that spell out the most famous of all sentences to the residents of the island.

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Edward A. Silver

As my term as editor of the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education nears its end, I have been thinking about the place of this journal in the world of mathematics education. JRME has several interesting features that make it distinctive among research journals in our field.

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Edward A. Silver

This issue of the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education marks the end of my term as editor. In preparing this, my final editorial, and reflecting on my term, I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with so many talented professionals. I want to acknowledge some of the many individuals who made it possible for me to do my work as editor and who generously contributed their time and talent to JRME.