The West Coast Conversations about Education Research Policy

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The West Coast Conversations about Education Research Policy are an ongoing exploration of ways that the data and approaches used by K-12 education technology (edtech) companies can be made sufficiently rigorous to meet the standards of evidence defined by ESSA. The conversations have engaged the federal Institute of Education Sciences with Silicon Valley developers, funders, researchers, and educators. The conversations were initiated by Empirical Education Inc. and Bellwether Education Partners.

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Suggested Reading

The following public reports and postings provide helpful background and context to inform ongoing discussions about education research policy.

Link to reading Description of reading
A Rebellion Against the Current Research Regime A blog post that got the conversation started
Guidelines for Conducting and Reporting EdTech Impact Research in U.S. K-12 Schools A report for the software industry on conducting research in the ESSA era
The Rebel Alliance is Growing A blog post addressing a fundamental problem with efficacy research in the pre-ESSA era
For Comparison Group Studies on EdTech Products, What Counts as Being Treated? A research paper illustrating how usage data from edtech products can improve impact studies
Classrooms and Districts: Breaking Down Silos in Education Research and Evidence A blog post inspired by the Edsurge Fusion conference, where the focus was on implementing personalized learning in the classroom
The Unvarnished Report of Conducting an RCT of a Statewide STEM Program in the Process of Scaling Up A report that illustrates the failure of federal research policy to highlight that a STEM program could be increasing the achievement gap between white and minority students
Message from IES Director: An update on the IES version of LEED standards A posting by the new director of the Institute of Education Sciences showing an eagerness to improve the functioning of his agency
External Validity in the Context of RCTs: Lessons from the Causal Explanatory Tradition A celebration of the insights of Lee Cronbach, a Stanford psychologist and statistitian who questioned the generalizability of RCTs
Beyond the Two Disciplines of Scientific Psychology A pointer to an inspiring analysis by Cronbach of experimental research
How School and District Leaders Access, Perceive, and Use Research Based on a survey of 733 school and district leaders, an IES-funded research center found that conferences and professional organizations provide much of the information on which schools base procurement decisions
Student Privacy & Data Security Toolkit for School Service Providers A project of the Software & Information Industry Association provides useful information on the student data that research depends on