MDRC in the News

If at First Your Study Succeeds, Try, Try Again, Education Research Agency Says

Education Week

08/2017

Over the past few years, social sciences research has been roiled by problems of promising interventions that sputtered out in other schools and exciting results later found to be statistical noise.

With more districts and states seeking strong research on which to base school improvement, the Institute of Education Sciences has proposed prioritizing funding for studies that confirm or unpack existing findings.

“There is growing recognition in the education research community that for us to grow as a field and a science, we need to put more emphasis in replication,” said Thomas Brock, IES’ acting director…..

…..”What you are hearing and seeing from IES has been part of the conversation in the lead science agencies …” Levine said. “The ethos on the replication side is not to have ‘gotcha’ [results], but how can we further advance knowledge and learning through stimulating replication research and attention to the reproducibility of research.”

And like IES, the Arnold Foundation has started prioritizing grants for replication studies. Baron said a third of the foundation’s 40 ongoing experimental studies are replications, such as a study to expand and update the MDRC’s evaluation of career academies in California, and another to look at whether book fairs help support reading achievement for low-income students…..

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