Below, you will find links to organizations that provide useful information regarding current and emerging issues related to scientific evidence in education.
The Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education
The Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002 (PDF - Download Acrobat Reader) established the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) within the U.S. Department of Education. IES brings rigorous and relevant research, evaluation and statistics to our nation's education system. It is composed of four centers:
- The National Center for Education Research (NCER), supports rigorous research that addresses the nation’s most pressing education needs, from early childhood to adult education.
- The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), located within the U.S. Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences, is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education.
- The National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER), sponsors a comprehensive program of special education research designed to expand the knowledge and understanding of infants, toddlers and children with disabilities.
- The National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (NCEE), conducts unbiased large-scale evaluations of education programs and practices supported by federal funds, such as Reading First and Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
Regional Educational Laboratory Program (REL) Home Page
The Regional Educational Laboratory Program (REL), administered by NCEE, consists of a network of 10 laboratories that serve the educational needs designated regions by providing access to high quality scientifically valid education research through applied research and development projects, studies, and other related technical assistance activities.
What Works Clearinghouse
The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC), administered by NCEE, aims to promote informed education decision making through a set of easily accessible databases and user-friendly reports that provide education consumers with high-quality reviews of the effectiveness of replicable educational interventions (programs, products, practices, and policies) that intend to improve student outcomes. The What Works Clearinghouse also offers a WWC Help Desk to provide federal, state, and local education officials, researchers, program providers, and educators with practical, easy-to-use tools to (i) advance rigorous evaluations of educational interventions (i.e., programs, products, practices, and policies), and (ii) identify and implement evidence-based interventions.
Other U.S. Department of Education Links
In response to No Child Left Behind (NCLB), five national Content Centers were established to assist states on key educational issues. The five Content Centers are:
- Assessment and Accountability Comprehensive Center
The Assessment and Accountability Comprehensive Center implements, evaluates, and improves assessment and accountability systems so that states and districts can reach the NCLB goal of academic proficiency for all students.
- Center on Innovation and Improvement
The Center on Innovation and Improvement provides information, tools, and training to help states improve student learning by assisting districts and schools in their improvement; implementing and supporting the choice provisions of NCLB; increasing the number and quality of charter schools; and ensuring equitable participation of private school students and teachers in federal programs for which they are eligible.
- Center on Instruction
The Center on Instruction supports state education leaders in the work of helping schools and districts meet the goals of NCLB – to close the achievement gap and improve teaching and learning for all students. The Center on Instruction offers information on NCLB and best practices in reading, math, science, Special Education, and English language learner instruction; syntheses of recent scientific research on instruction; and opportunities for professional development.
- National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality
The National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality serves as a national resource to states and other education stakeholders on strengthening the quality of teaching—especially in high-poverty, low-performing, and hard-to-staff schools—and for finding guidance in addressing specific needs, thereby ensuring highly qualified teachers are serving students with special needs.
- National High School Center
The National High School Center serves as a central source of information and expertise on high school improvement for the Regional Comprehensive Centers and the states they serve in meeting the goals and objectives of No Child Left Behind.
Doing What Works
Doing What Works is a U.S. Department of Education-sponsored website dedicated to helping educators identify and make use of effective teaching practices. Doing What Works includes practice guides developed by the Department’s Institute of Education Sciences that evaluate research on the effectiveness of teaching practices described in the guides.
Best Evidence Encyclopedia (BEE)
Best Evidence Encyclopedia (BEE) is a free site created by Johns Hopkins University under funding from the Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. It is intended to give educators and researchers fair and useful information about the strength of evidence supporting a variety of programs available for students in grades K-12.
Additional Useful Links
Through its use of systematic reviews on the effects of interventions, the Campbell Collaboration (C2) aims to “make the best social science research available and accessible to policy makers, service providers (public, private, voluntary), intermediary organizations, people who use public and private services, and citizens.” C2 employs editors, librarians, methodologists and external peer-reviewers to conduct systematic reviews of various interventions.
Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research
The National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Education Research (CALDER) is a joint project of the Urban Institute and scholars at numerous leading universities. The center, which is funded by the Institute of Education Sciences, collects state and district administrative data on individual teachers and students to gain insights into how state and local policies, especially teacher policies, governance policies, and accountability policies affect teachers and students.
NationalCenter on Performance Incentives
The National Center on Performance Incentives (NCPI) was established in 2006 through a major research and development grant from the Institute of Education Sciences. It conducts scientific, comprehensive research on the effects of performance incentives in education.
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness
The goal of the Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE) is to “advance and disseminate research on the causal effects of education interventions, practices, programs, and policies.” With the purpose of supporting researchers who are trying to promote educational effectiveness, SREE works to “1) increase the capacity of design and conduct investigations that have a strong base for causal inference, 2) bring together people investigation cause-and-effective relations in education, and 3) promote the understanding and use of scientific evidence to improve education decisions and outcomes.”