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Evaluations Help Us Deliver on Our Promises

Pierre Ferrari | Posted 11.25.2015 | Impact
Pierre Ferrari

With goals as significant as the Sustainable Development Goals, it is of the utmost importance to have plans for determining progress and success -- or lack thereof -- toward the desired ends. Strong evaluation plans allow organizations and other players to gauge if what they are doing works, and if not, what they need to do to course-correct.

Response to Intervention and Bob's Law

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 11.19.2015 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

The problem in education reform isn't a lack of good ideas. It's a lack of good ideas implemented with enough clarity, consistency and integrity to actually make a difference in rigorous experiments. A recent large-scale evaluation of Response to Intervention (RTI) illustrates this problem once again.

Why Leave Learning to Chance?

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 10.29.2015 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

Why is it ok to leave the reading success of children to chance? Why don't we treat reading success the way we treat air safety, as something to ensure no matter what?

Lessons Learned from Standardized Testing

Mary McVeigh | Posted 10.28.2015 | Education
Mary McVeigh

Under pressure to show immediate, positive results, there is less time to grow, to improve, or to fail. A race for results puts pressure on programs to measure outcomes too soon, with weak methods, and without funding to invest in trained researchers. That race benefits no one.

Evidence-Based Reform Is Irreversible

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 10.22.2015 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

For a long time, education has paid little attention to evidence. There are still far too few researchers, educators and policy-makers involved in the evidence movement.

Experiments: Why Bigger is Better

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 09.24.2015 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

Small studies are fine in a process of development. However, we need to see it repeated in multiple experiments or in studies with many students. Big experiments are expensive and difficult, but if we're serious about evidence-based reform, we'd better go big or go home!

R&D That Makes a Difference

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 08.27.2015 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

Over the course of my career, I've written a lot of proposals. I've also reviewed a lot, and mostly, I've seen many funded projects crash and burn, or produce a scholarly article or two that are never heard of again.

What's the Difference Between Judgement and Evaluation?

Robert C. Jameson | Posted 07.31.2015 | Healthy Living
Robert C. Jameson

A friend of mine once told me that next to every truth stands a lie, that one person's ceiling is another's floor, and that to follow a truth is like walking a razor's edge -- it's easy to fall off in error. I find defining the difference between evaluation and judgment to be in this fine-line category.

Good Failure/Bad Failure

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 07.09.2015 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

Evidence junkies (like me) are reacting to the disappointing news on the evaluation of the Adolescent Behavioral Learning Experience (ABLE), a program implemented at Rikers Island to reduce recidivism among adolescent prisoners. Bottom line: The rigorous independent evaluation of the program failed to find any benefits.

Making Evidence Primary for Secondary Readers

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 06.11.2015 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

Striving Readers was a serious, well-meaning attempt to solve a very important problem faced by far too many secondary students: difficulties with reading. But next time anyone thinks of doing something on that scale, I hope they will provide preference points in the application process for applicants who propose to use approaches with solid evidence of effectiveness.

Where Next for Nepal?

Sheetal Sharma | Posted 05.26.2015 | Impact
Sheetal Sharma

We know from previous disasters in low-income countries such as Nepal that help will be slower to reach rural areas. We fear, with two earthquakes in relatively quick succession, the worst is yet to come for many poor people living in remote villages.

Do You Fear Your Loved One May Be Developing Alzheimer's?

Marie Marley | Posted 05.30.2015 | Fifty
Marie Marley

Some people get lost driving home and end up bewildered and many miles away. Some leave the house in their pajamas and some fail to recognize a close friend or family member.

Continuous Learning Is Key to Achieving Better Outcomes

Kirsten Lodal | Posted 12.02.2014 | Impact
Kirsten Lodal

Co-authored with Dan Cardinali To address complex social challenges, we need to figure out what works. Collecting evidence, however, is only part of ...

No Excuses!

Marshall Goldsmith | Posted 09.28.2014 | Business
Marshall Goldsmith

Genuinely apologizing is one of the most magical healing, restorative gestures a person can make. Without the apology, there is no recognition or acknowledgement that mistakes have been made, there is no announcement that you intend to change, and most importantly, there is no emotional contract between you and the people you care about.

Data Is Key to Improving Outcomes for Students With Special Needs

Michele Jolin | Posted 09.10.2014 | Education
Michele Jolin

For far too long, we as a nation have set unnecessarily low education expectations for students with special needs, limiting their choices and opportunities for success.

Using Research to Ensure an Education Program Actually Works

Katherine Damkohler | Posted 07.30.2014 | Education
Katherine Damkohler

In the early 1990's I was hired as the principal of a school that was slated for closure in one year, and so my job was to prepare the students to ...

What's the ObamaCare GPA? The ABCs of Giving a Grade to the Affordable Care Act

Cary A. Presant, M.D. | Posted 06.22.2014 | Politics
Cary A. Presant, M.D.

I want to grade what the ACA is doing for me now. Because that's where healthcare reform hits the road, in the care that each of us pays lots of dollars to receive.

Don't Just Do Something, Stand There

Dr. Mika Nash | Posted 05.10.2014 | College
Dr. Mika Nash

I would argue that this short-sightedness undermines most organizations. It does so in insidious ways, mostly by draining energy through repeated conversations about what isn't working and unfulfilled promises that, as soon as there is a free moment, everyone will sit down and figure things out.

Parent-Teacher Conferences... What Should I Ask the Teacher?

Diana Grycan | Posted 05.10.2014 | Parents
Diana Grycan

Leave your anxiety about your child's issues at home. The teacher is a person who knows your child very well, given the number of hours each week spent with him or her.

On Being Our Brother's Keeper

John Bridgeland | Posted 05.03.2014 | Impact
John Bridgeland

When integrated into other initiatives, mentoring can strengthen efforts to reduce poverty, truancy, drug abuse and violence while promoting healthy decision-making, positive behaviors and strong futures.

Rethinking the "Impact Question": Evaluating the (Nonprofit) Evaluators, Part IV

Barbara Harman | Posted 04.26.2014 | Impact
Barbara Harman

Charities also need to find a way to assess their work in a manner that does justice to its complexity, and then translate what they learn into an account that will have meaning and power for individual donors.

A Race Toward the Mental Finish Line

Amitai Shenhav | Posted 12.23.2013 | Science
Amitai Shenhav

Imagine that each time you have to make a choice there are two imaginary lines drawn, one to your left and the other to your right, both equally spaced from where you start out.

Are Anti-Bullying Programs Counterproductive?

Deborah Temkin | Posted 12.14.2013 | Impact
Deborah Temkin

Faced with a bullying problem, schools will often reach for the latest anti-bullying program that promises to work, without considering the crucial question -- "will this program work for our school?"

Stop the 'Little Voice' in Your Head

Morty Lefkoe | Posted 12.11.2013 | Healthy Living
Morty Lefkoe

Whenever you catch yourself judging yourself, notice that there was some type of external event or internal thought that you judged. Notice that the judgment is something you added to the event or the thought.

Your Design Performance May Be Better Than You Think

Soren Petersen | Posted 09.10.2013 | Business
Soren Petersen

Why can't everyone else see your genius and why do the experts seldom agree with you? If you are feeling misunderstood, relax, it may just be how we humans have evolved.