Volume 12, Number 4
What Works Clearinghouse? (WWC)
The What Works Clearinghouse is described as providing educators, policymakers, researchers, and the public with a central and trusted source of scientific evidence of what works in education. It was established in 2002 by the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences. Its aims are to promote informed education decision making through easily accessible databases and user-friendly high-quality reviews of the effectiveness of replicable programs, products, practices, and policies that intend to improve student outcomes.
To these ends, WWC collects, screens, and identifies studies of effectiveness of educational interventions. Current efforts involve conducting systematic reviews and producing intervention and topic reports. Among those already online are reviews focusing on:
A Technical Advisory Group composed of experts in research design, program evaluation, and research synthesis works with WWC to ensure quality and integrity. The group helps establish and validate standards, informs methodological aspects of the evidence, and provides guidance to contractors.
- character education
- dropout prevention
- early childhood education
- English language learners
- beginning reading
Current WWC Standards offer guidance for those planning or carrying out studies, not only related to design but the analysis and reporting as well. The WWC recognizes that WWC standards may not pertain to every situation, context, or purpose of a study. Thus, plans call for regularly updating of technical standards and their application to account for new considerations brought forth by experts and users. Such changes may result in re-appraisals of what was previously reviewed.
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