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Evaluation

Why Rigorous Studies Get Smaller Effect Sizes

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 08.18.2016 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

When I was a kid, I was a big fan of the hapless Washington Senators. They were awful. Year after year, they were dead last in the American League. ...

$100M Solution to Change the World: The Impact Genome Project

Jason Saul | Posted 08.11.2016 | Impact
Jason Saul

In the U.S. today, we invest over $6T/year in solutions to social problems.  We fund thousands of social programs and charities, but we don't know which interventions work the best.  We're spending billions on evaluation, but we're not systematically learning why some programs work and others don't.

How Can You do the Most Good with Your Charitable Giving? This Expert's Answers Might Surprise You

Linch Zhang | Posted 07.05.2016 | Impact
Linch Zhang

GiveWell is a relatively young (started in 2007) charity rating agency that makes recommendations to donors based on the expected impact of their doll...

Does Research Based Reform Require Standardized Tests?

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 06.16.2016 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

Whenever I speak about evidence-based reform someone always asks this question: "Won't all of these randomized evaluations just reinforce teaching to ...

"Pray" for Success: How to Take the Guesswork Out of Social Finance

Jason Saul | Posted 05.12.2016 | Impact
Jason Saul

We believe that the future of SIBs and social finance is brighter than ever. But if we are to create a true social capital market, we must be more rigorous, intentional and outcomes-driven than the current approaches.

Seeking Jewels, Not Boulders: Learning to Value Small, Well-Justified Effect Sizes

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 04.28.2016 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

Photo from the Smithsonian Institution http://www.si.edu/Encyclopedia_SI/nmnh/hope.htm One of the most popular exhibits in the Smithsonian Museum of ...

Educationists and Economists

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 03.24.2016 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

I used to work part time in England, and I've traveled around the world a good bit speaking about evidence-based reform in education and related topic...

There's Something to be Gained From Losing

Yvonne Kariba | Posted 02.17.2016 | Business
Yvonne Kariba

It might seem as an oxymoron to most, but there really is something to be gained from losing. Life doesn't always give us what we want; we win some, we lose some! Our loss is one person's gain just as much as another person's loss is sometimes our gain.

Love and Evidence

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 02.11.2016 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

Valentine's Day is this Sunday. If you are spending it thinking about effect sizes or research designs or education policy, shame on you. Unless, of course, that sort of thing turns you on.

Helping NGOs Improve Impact Assessments?

Josephine d'Allant | Posted 01.28.2016 | Impact
Josephine d'Allant

In the development sector, giving a clear, quantifiable picture of a program's impact helps beneficiaries and funders ensure that grant money reaches its target, and it also assists foundations, governments, and NGOs in making better funding choices.

Proven Programs vs. Local Evidence

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 01.21.2016 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

All evidence from rigorous studies is good evidence, as long as it addresses actionable policies or practices that could make a difference for student outcomes. However, there is a big distinction between two kinds of good evidence that I think it is useful to make.

The Future of Title I - 2040

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 01.14.2016 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

When you get to a certain age, you find increasing evidence that you've been yammering on the same topics for a very long time, usually to no great benefit. I just made one of those discoveries. Going through some old publications, I found a 1991 article I wrote on the future of Title I.

Communications Strategy 101: Get Your GAME On

John P. David | Posted 01.05.2016 | Business
John P. David

One thing that I often hear from executives is that they want to improve their corporate communications, marketing and public relations, but they don'...

Permanent Innovations

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 12.03.2015 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

My wife Nancy and I were recently in Barcelona, a beautiful and fascinating city famous for its innovations in architecture, art, and design. We were speaking to various groups about evidence-based reform in education and about cooperative learning.

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 08.26.2016 | 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 07.31.2016 | 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 07.09.2016 | 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 06.11.2016 | 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 05.21.2016 | 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.