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Robert E. Slavin
Robert Slavin is Director of the Center for Research and Reform in Education at Johns Hopkins University School of Education, Director of the Institute for Effective Education at the University of York (UK), and the co-founder and Chairman of the Success for All Foundation. He is an expert on research-based school improvement, reading instruction, English-language learners, and federal education reform policy. Slavin has authored or co-authored more than 300 articles and 24 books. He received the Distinguished Services Award from the Council of Chief State School Officers in 2000, the AERA Review of Research Award in 2009, the Palmer O. Johnson Award for the best article in an AERA journal in 2008, and was appointed as a Member of the National Academy of Education in 2009 and an AERA Fellow in 2010.

Entries by Robert E. Slavin

Happy 50th Birthday, Head Start!

(0) Comments | Posted May 21, 2015 | 3:54 PM


This week marks the 50th anniversary of Head Start! Children, please look up from your sand tables and dress-up corners and finger-painting tables and sing "Happy Birthday"! Gloria, I'm watching you. Do not even think of putting finger paint in Michael's hair! Is...

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Reading and Vision

(0) Comments | Posted May 14, 2015 | 10:06 AM

Illustration by Andrea and Pete Connolly

A few years ago, I was touring a ruined abbey in Scotland. In a small museum containing objects found in excavations of the site were a pair of eyeglasses worn by monks in the 13th century.

The relationship...

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The Message From Baltimore

(1) Comments | Posted May 7, 2015 | 10:51 AM


Why Baltimore?

The tragic events of recent weeks could have happened in any big city in America. Rough treatment of minorities by police is hardly unique to Baltimore. Serious injuries and deaths are an all-too-common result. This is not to disparage individual law...

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Give a Man a Fish...

(1) Comments | Posted April 30, 2015 | 3:26 PM


Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he'll eat for a lifetime. Design, pilot, and evaluate fishing-education programs, and take effective ones to sustainable scale and you might help an entire country thrive.
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When Will We Reach Our 1962 Moment in Education?

(4) Comments | Posted April 23, 2015 | 5:10 PM


When I was in college, I had an ancient 1957 Chevy. What a great car. Stylish, dependable, indestructible.

My 1957 Chevy was beautiful, but it had no seatbelts, no airbags, and no recourse if the brakes went out. It got about 13 miles...

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One Small Step for Washington, One Giant Leap for Children

(0) Comments | Posted April 16, 2015 | 3:11 PM

Photo courtesy of NASA

Recently I wrote about a new education innovation initiative being supported by some members of Congress. The initiative is based on the successful Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, which has been running in 11 federal agencies for...

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Is Now the Time to Reauthorize ESEA?

(0) Comments | Posted April 9, 2015 | 2:03 PM


The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), currently also known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), the giant centerpiece of educational policy, is up for reauthorization. Again. What that means is that it's time to revisit the act in order to make changes...

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Helping Struggling Schools

(0) Comments | Posted April 2, 2015 | 8:46 AM

Illustration by James Bravo

There are a lot of schools in the U.S. that need to be achieving much better outcomes. However, there is a much smaller group of schools in which achievement levels are appalling. The solutions for garden-variety low-achieving schools are arguably...

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Accountability and Evidence

(2) Comments | Posted March 26, 2015 | 1:45 PM

Illustration by James Bravo

At some level, just about everyone involved in education is in favor of "using what works." There are plenty of healthy arguments about how we find out what works and how evidence gets translated into practice, but it's hard to...

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Governing From the Outside In and Back Out Again

(0) Comments | Posted March 19, 2015 | 12:43 PM


"If a man empties his purse into his head, no one can take it from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the highest return." - Benjamin Franklin

"We have a saying in Congress, when decisions are being made: 'If you're not at...

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The Role of Research in Limited Government

(3) Comments | Posted March 12, 2015 | 8:15 AM

2015-03-12-1426162256-198029-HKissinger03_12_2015.jpgLong ago Henry Kissinger said, "We can all have our own opinions, but we can't all have our own facts." I thought of this when I read a recent article on education reform by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. In it Bush...

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Eat Your Pets

(1) Comments | Posted March 5, 2015 | 1:00 PM


Don't worry, Fluffy. This isn't about you. I'm talking about Chia Pets.

Many years ago, someone invented little terracotta animals on which you could plant chia seeds that would grow into a coat for the animal. These were all the rage a...

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Social Spending Innovation Research

(0) Comments | Posted February 26, 2015 | 2:09 PM


Benjamin Franklin. Eli Whitney. Robert Fulton. Thomas Edison. Orville and Wilbur Wright. Alexander Graham Bell. George Washington Carver. Henry Ford. Jonas Salk. Charles Drew. Virginia Apgar. Steve Jobs. Bill Gates. Temple Grandin.

From its earliest days, innovation has been the lifeblood of...

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Leveraging What Works

(2) Comments | Posted February 19, 2015 | 9:30 AM


In my blog from two weeks ago, I discussed several exciting proposals in President Obama's recent budget relating to increasing the role of evidence in education policy and practice. Today, I want to say more about one of these proposals,...

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Investing in Innovation: Informing Local Control

(0) Comments | Posted February 12, 2015 | 1:14 PM


The new Congress is working on alternative versions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, creating a successor to No Child Left Behind. Republican proposals have a strong emphasis on local control, getting the federal government out of what they believe should be...

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Fund What Works!

(0) Comments | Posted February 5, 2015 | 11:36 AM


President Obama's recently released budget may or may not make its way into law, but it has already made its way into the hearts of those who believe that government programs must be held to account for producing the outcomes they are intended...

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What Makes Educational Technology Programs Work?

(1) Comments | Posted January 29, 2015 | 2:40 PM


While everyone else is having a lot more fun, my colleagues and I sit up late at night writing a free website, the Best Evidence Encyclopedia (, which reviews evaluations of educational programs in reading, math, and science.

The recent...

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Show Me the Evidence

(0) Comments | Posted January 22, 2015 | 7:47 AM


This year, evidence-based reform in education got off to a great start with an article by Ron Haskins in the New York Times on December 31 explaining why evidence of effectiveness must become an expected part of the process...

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Seeds, Bricks, and Sand: Stages of School-Reform Readiness

(1) Comments | Posted January 15, 2015 | 7:16 AM


Every school, no matter how effective at improving student outcomes, could probably be even more effective, and some schools have a particularly long way to go. Various proven reform models for whole schools, particular subjects, or specific purposes stand ready to...

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America's Strength: An Innovation Economy

(0) Comments | Posted January 8, 2015 | 7:14 AM


In a 2012 article in The New York Times called "China's Rise Isn't Our Demise," Vice President Joe Biden wrote a cogent summary of America's advantage in the world economy that has enormous implications for innovation in education.

"The United States...

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