ERIC Number: EJ906447
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Oct-20
Reference Count: 0
Federal Criteria for Studies Grow
Sparks, Sarah D.
Education Week, v30 n8 p1, 12 Oct 2010
The author reports on the U.S. Department of Education's "What Works Clearinghouse" that goes beyond "gold standard" research and sets standards for accepting other types of studies. As part of the Institute of Education Sciences' push to make research more relevant to educators, the federal clearinghouse has devised standards by which it can consider two new methods for rigorous research. In addition to the randomized, controlled trials now considered the gold standard, education researchers are now able to use "regression-discontinuity," a method that uses a cutoff point rather than random assignment to form comparison groups, and "single-case studies" in certain situations. In clearinghouse reviews, studies that adhere to the new standards are now considered, along with randomized, controlled trials, to result in the "strongest evidence" to guide educators and policymakers. The standards, which have been in development for more than three years, were posted on the clearinghouse website over the summer and are already being used to evaluate incoming research, according to Rebecca A. Maynard, the IES commissioner for the National Center for Education, Evaluation and Regional Assistance. However, the clearinghouse plans to tweak the standards further this fall and has asked researchers to weigh in on their usability.
Descriptors: Clearinghouses, Researchers, Evaluation Criteria, National Standards, Standard Setting, Public Policy, Research Administration, Research Methodology, Research Projects, Barriers, Research Design
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education; Higher Education
Authoring Institution: N/A