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Student Outcomes

'We Don't Do Programs'

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 10.20.2016 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

When speaking with educational leaders, I frequently hear them say, "We don't do programs." They lament that teachers and principals are often too dri...

Do Textbooks Matter?

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 08.25.2016 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

Recently, some colleagues and I were speaking with some superintendents about how they use evidence to select educational programs. Although they had ...

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. ...

Keep Up the Good Work (To Keep Up the Good Outcomes)

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 07.28.2016 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

I just read an outstanding study that contains a hard but crucially important lesson. The study, by Woodbridge et al. (2014), evaluated a behavior man...

What Schools in One Place Can Learn from Schools Elsewhere

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 07.21.2016 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

In a recent blog, I responded to an article by Lisbeth Schorr and Srik Gopal about their concerns that the findings of randomized experiments will not...


Robert E. Slavin | Posted 07.14.2016 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

When I was a kid, my brothers and I used to go to a YMCA camp on the Chesapeake Bay for a month every summer. My mother said that it was cheaper than...

Can Findings From One Set Of Schools Apply To Others?

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 06.30.2016 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

Discussions about when generalization is most likely to take place are healthy and welcome. But they are not academic. America's schools are not getting better fast enough, and achievement gaps by race and class remain unacceptable.

Joy is a Basic Skill in Secondary Reading

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 06.23.2016 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

I have a policy of not talking about studies I'm engaged in before they are done and available, but I have an observation to make that just won't wait...

What If You Crossed a Sears Catalogue With Consumer Reports?

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 06.09.2016 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

When I was in high school, I had a summer job delivering Sears catalogues. What a great job. I got to drive all over the Maryland suburbs of Washing...

How Much Difference Does an Education Program Make?

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 05.26.2016 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

When you use Consumer Reports car repair ratings to choose a reliable car, you are doing something a lot like what evidence-based reform in education ...

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 One of the most popular exhibits in the Smithsonian Museum of ...

The Wonderful Reputation of Educational Research

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 04.21.2016 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

Back in 1993, Carl Kaestle memorably wrote about the "awful reputation of educational research." At the time, he was right. But that was 23 years ag...

Money and Evidence

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 04.14.2016 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

Many years ago, I spent a few days testifying in a funding equity case in Alabama. At the end of my testimony, the main lawyer for the plaintiffs drov...

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...

Strong Evidence Meets Local Control

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 02.25.2016 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

At the political level, the burgeoning evidence movement in education is running smack dab into a growing focus on state and local control of educatio...

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.

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.

Evidence-Based Reform Is Irreversible

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 10.21.2016 | 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.

Columbus and Replicability

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 10.15.2016 | 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.

Early Childhood Education in the Balance

Robert E. Slavin | Posted 09.10.2016 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

Debate in early childhood education has largely shifted from the kindergarten to the pre-kindergarten. A lot of attention has been paid to the question, "Does Head Start work?"


Robert E. Slavin | Posted 07.30.2016 | Education
Robert E. Slavin

Lighthouses once guided ships to safe harbors, but in education, policies limited to finding and celebrating lighthouse schools are less likely to improve outcomes more broadly. They may lead policy in a good direction, but they may just as likely guide us onto the rocks.

Faculty Alert: Why Are Employers Giving Low Marks to College & University Grads?

Eugene Fram | Posted 03.24.2015 | College
Eugene Fram

What can educational institutions do to improve the low marks given their graduates by their employers?

Race and College

Dr. Carol E. Quillen | Posted 09.02.2013 | College
Dr. Carol E. Quillen

If the 5-4 Voting Rights Act decision lays bare a stark national divide, Fisher v. University of Texas, at 7-1, sends a different message. It serves as an invitation to investigate how racial diversity uniquely improves student outcomes and promotes the public good.

Does More Money Mean Better Education?

Posted 01.09.2012 | Education

Amid major slashes to public funding, political leaders have cited assertions that money doesn't affect student learning to sometimes justify cutting ...