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Dept. Shares the Research Behind its ESEA Blueprint

Arne Duncan has taken some heat over the past year, in this space and elsewhere, for the lack of research evidence to back up some of the policy ideas that get priority treatment in the U.S. Department of Education's Race to the Top program.

Now, on the heels of its March 15 rollout of its proposals for reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the department has already got research at the ready.

The department last week published a package of six reports outlining the research that undergirds its ESEA blueprint. (A nod goes to the Knowledge Alliance for picking up on these reports in its weekly, members-only blog.)

I'm not sure the studies cited in these reports will all pass the sort of evidence test that the What Works Clearinghouse runs on the interventions that it reviews. But, in a field where rigorous research is thin and rigorous evidence of success is even thinner, the evidence bar may not have to be as high.

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