A policy framework for analyzing educational research and development has been proposed. The framework consists of five primary elements focusing on the contexts in which educational R & D operates, its goals, its characteristics, its manpower, and its decision structures. These five primary elements interact to produce two secondary elements concerned with priorities and objectives, and strategies and tactics. The framework was applied to three current policy proposals in educational R & D including directed R & D programming in the U.S. Office of Education, the request for funds for experimental schools, and the proposed National Institute of Education. Rigorous application of the framework to major policy questions such as these three can help us examine issues before they arise. It can help prevent errors. Its application can provide greater assurance that primary, secondary, and tertiary consequences—those that arise from the interaction of the consequences we most directly perceive—will receive examination. This kind of consideration can help produce the desirable and intended effects and avoid the detrimental consequences of unanticipated impacts in unintended areas.