In the News: New ‘What Works Clearinghouse’ Aims to Help Districts Find Research for ESSA

This week, the Institute of Education Sciences launched a new version of its What Works Clearinghouse , Sarah Sparks reports on Inside School Research.  The website now allows school and district leaders to search for research-proven programs based on the specific characteristics of their schools.

ednext-sept2016-blog-ototn-wwcAs Sarah Sparks notes

The overhaul is meant to help meet growing demand for evidence on programs as states and districts grapple with school improvement rules under ESSA—more guidance is expected later this week—and also to respond to criticisms that the site has been difficult to use. While the clearinghouse has reviewed more than 10,000 studies in its nearly 15-year history, many do not end up meeting its rigorous quality standards. Moreover, critics have said the clearinghouse did not include enough information about program implementation to help districts make decisions about the interventions.

Mike Petrilli wrote recently for Education Next about why it has been so difficult to put research-based practices in place in American schools and what we could do to change things. “Education remains a field in which habit, intuition, and incumbency continue to play at least as large a role as research and data analysis,” he noted.

– Education Next

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