Making the Most of Opportunities to Learn What Works: A School District's Guide

Making the Most of Opportunities to Learn What Works: A School District's Guide

Published: Jun 01, 2014
Publisher: Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Analytic Technical Assistance and Development
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Associated Project

Analytic and Technical Support for Education Researchers and Practitioners

Time frame: 2012-2018

Prepared for:

U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences

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Key Findings
  • Shows how to recognize opportunities to embed RCTs into planned policies or programs
  • Outlines key steps to conduct RCTs
  • Addresses common questions and concerns

This guide for district and school leaders shows how to recognize opportunities to embed randomized controlled trials (RCTs) into planned policies or programs. Opportunistic RCTs can generate strong evidence for informing education decisions—with minimal added cost and disruption. The guide also outlines the key steps to conduct RCTs and responds to common questions and concerns about RCTs. Readers will find a real life example of how one district took advantage of an opportunity to learn whether a summer reading program worked. 

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