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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.

Wisconsin Needs and Deserves a Patients Reproductive Health Act

Sara Finger | Posted 11.17.2015 | Politics
Sara Finger

Wisconsin has joined the troubling national trend of enacting laws based on junk science under the false guise of protecting women's health. Sadly, the goal of these harmful laws is to restrict access and compromise women's reproductive health care.

Cleaning the House of Medicine

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 11.13.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

A recent report in JAMA Internal Medicine highlights prevailing medical practices that should be "reconsidered" in 2015 based on the weight of evidenc...

Random Thoughts

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 11.12.2015 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

While methodologists have long favored randomized over matched experiments, actual experience in education has been mixed, in the sense that in some systematic reviews of treatment studies, effect sizes were pretty much the same in randomized and matched studies.

Junk Food: From Confusion to Clear and Simple Truth

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 11.09.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

I was somewhat startled, and quite concerned, to learn directly from the source while sipping coffee together, that my wife was confused by the latest...

Science and Medicine, Fools and Fanatics: The 'Fluidity' of Woo

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 10.30.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

The American College of Preventive Medicine recently completed a project, with funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration, to advan...

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?

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.

Fats, Carbs, and What Jane Brody Meant to Say

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 10.20.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

Jane Brody published a very sensible reality check about diet in yesterday's New York Times. That it proved sensible was all but inevitable, as her co...

What Does the Evidence Tell Us About Sexual Harassment in the Workplace?

Dr. Alessio J.G. Brown | Posted 10.15.2015 | Business
Dr. Alessio J.G. Brown

Although empirical evidence on the efficacy of workplace policies in reducing sexual harassment is limited, there is a consensus that emphasizing prevention, issuing strong policy statements of no tolerance, and providing safe complaint procedures protecting against retaliation can be considered best practices.

Columbus and Replicability

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 10.15.2015 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

What Columbus did discover was not America per se, but a replicable and openly published route to America. And that's what made him justifiably famous. The day he reached the New World was a significant event, but it wasn't really important until he showed that he (and anyone else) could do it again.

Beware of Do-It-Yourself Assessments

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 10.08.2015 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

It may be going too far to suggest that no one should ever use or accept experimenter-made measures, no matter how fair they appear to be to the experimental and control groups. However, what it does say is that we need to be very cautious in accepting experimenter-made measures.

Milking Dietary Discord: Who Holds the Bucket?

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 10.07.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

For now, the cow can be dietary guidelines. In fact, the placement of cows, and milk for that matter, in dietary guidance is at the heart of current discord- and we are all well advised to wonder: who holds the bucket?

An Open Letter to the BMJ Regarding US Dietary Guidance

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 09.25.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

This commentary is not authoritative. It is not a counterweight. It is, at best, a paperweight. I am sorry to say its prominent placement on your editor's desk redounds to your discredit.

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!

It's the Only Gum My Mom Lets Me Chew

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 09.18.2015 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

Evidence-based reform in education needs to occupy a similar place in the culture of education. Someday, teachers need to expect each other to use proven programs, and to take it as a point of pride that they know about what works and put that knowledge to work in the classroom every day.

How to Restore Faith in Our Broken Judicial System

Lorenzo Johnson | Posted 09.16.2015 | Crime
Lorenzo Johnson

Many people are responsible for securing wrongful convictions. Consider last year's record-breaking number of exonerations -- 125 in all. How many prosecutors, police officers, judges, or lawyers were fired for their participation in these 125 wrongful convictions? None.

Breast Cancer Screening: Of Chances and Choices

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 09.14.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

A sardonic insight by Bertrand Russell deftly, if disturbingly, conveys much of what is wrong in the realm of modern health promotion, particularly wh...

Theory Is Not Enough

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 09.03.2015 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

Readers of this blog are aware that I am enthusiastic about the EDGAR definitions of "strong" and "moderate" evidence of effectiveness for educational programs. However, EDGAR also has two categories below "moderate."

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.

Healing and Human Touch

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 08.28.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

Early this summer, I spent several days in a hospital bed, tethered to an IV, with what proved in retrospect to be anaplasmosis (a nasty bit of tick-b...

I Was Wrongfully Convicted And So Are Too Many Others

Lorenzo Johnson | Posted 08.25.2015 | Crime
Lorenzo Johnson

Many innocent people are sitting in prison with convictions for crimes they did not commit. This is often due to prosecutors who blatantly ignore information that might point away from their chosen suspect. Much of the time, these other leads could have exonerated an innocent prisoner, but they go totally disregarded.

What Counts as Research?

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 08.20.2015 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

We can respectfully disagree about strategies and methodologies, of course, but a broader interest in the findings of educational research within the policy community seems sure to be beneficial to the research community.

Chewing the Fat, Again

David Katz, M.D. | Posted 08.18.2015 | Healthy Living
David Katz, M.D.

Among my numerous colleagues, friends, and correspondents are more than a few who circulate every abstract, however obscure the source, suggesting tha...

Who Opposes Evidence-Based Reform?

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 08.13.2015 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

Many teachers are uneasy about evidence, because they see it as one more way they may be oppressed by standardized tests, or that they may be forced to implement proven programs. I'm sympathetic to teachers' concerns in these arenas, but policies to allay these concerns are possible.