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Research organizations are criticizing legislation pending in Congress that would reauthorize the U.S. Department of Education's research arm, arguing that the measure contains provisions that would weaken the National Center for Education Statistics.  

In a letter to the the chair and ranking member of the Senate education committee last week, the American Educational Research Association and several other groups said that the bill would "diminish the autonomy, authority, and stature of the National Center for Education Statistics." Among the groups' specific concerns is the fact that the bill would give the Institute of Education Sciences, the parent department of the NCES, more authority over NCES activities. 

The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year on a voice vote. It now heads to the Senate education committee.