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ERIC Number: EJ1038104
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Aug
Pages: 9
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1531-7714
Estimating Unbiased Treatment Effects in Education Using a Regression Discontinuity Design
Smith, William C.
Practical Assessment, Research & Evaluation, v19 n9 Aug 2014
The ability of regression discontinuity (RD) designs to provide an unbiased treatment effect while overcoming the ethical concerns plagued by Random Control Trials (RCTs) make it a valuable and useful approach in education evaluation. RD is the only explicitly recognized quasi-experimental approach identified by the Institute of Education Statistics to meet the prerequisites of a causal relationship. Unfortunately, the statistical complexity of the RD design has limited its application in education research. This article provides a less technical introduction to RD for education researchers and practitioners. Using visual analysis to aide conceptual understanding, the article walks readers through the essential steps of a Sharp RD design using hypothetical, but realistic, district intervention data and provides additional resources for further exploration.
Dr. Lawrence M. Rudner. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A