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How Do We Trust the Results? Building a Clearer View of Education Evaluations

The Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness this morning launched a new tool to make evaluations of education programs more transparent for both researchers and education policymakers.

The Registry of Efficacy and Effectiveness Studies allows researchers to lay out the methods and other details of their evaluations in advance, to ensure the studies can be tracked and replicated. The Institute of Education Sciences, a co-sponsor of the registry, has already proposed prioritizing funding for studies that confirm or unpack existing findings.

The registry comes as states and districts seek effective school interventions under the Every Student Succeeds Act amid continued debates in the research world about high-profile education studies that have not repeated their results over time. To both avoid statistical cherry-picking of results (called "p-hacking") and lay the groundwork for future replication studies, researchers can file information about upcoming randomized trials and quasi-experimental, regression discontinuity, and single-case design studies.  

The registry is also expected to help school and district leaders find education evaluations, SREE noted in its launch, even if the studies are published behind a journal paywall.  


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