Education Drivers

Systematic Reviews

A systematic review is a literature review that summarizes the results of research on specific topics. It provides plans and search strategies incorporating criteria for which studies will be accepted and which will be rejected. This practice increases confidence in the experimental studies selected for the review and the overall conclusions. Traditional literature reviews differ from systematic reviews primarily in their lack of transparency about criteria used to identify relevant studies. Systematic reviews specify clearly the quality of each study to be assessed; studies falling below a specified threshold are discarded. On the other hand, traditional literature reviews can pull from a larger pool of studies and make inferences from different fields that can be more rigorously examined in future research. One type of systematic review is the meta-analysis, which uses statistical techniques to combine the results of individual studies on a single topic into an overall effect size. This helps educators to make sense of multiple studies and permits comparisons across practices.

Data Mining

How important is it for teachers to receive subject matter training in order to obtain a teaching credential?
This inquiry lookes at two meta-analyses on the importance of subject matter training in teacher pre-service instruction.
States, J. (2010). How important is it for teachers to receive subject matter training in order to obtain a teaching credential? Retrieved from how-important-is-it.
What Practices Make a Difference in the Classroom?
This analysis examines meta-analyses to identify teaching practices that have the greatest impact on student achievement.
States, J. (2011). What Practices Make a Difference in the Classroom? Retrieved from what-practices-make-difference.
How Methodological Features Affect Effect Sizes in Education

The purpose of this article is to examine how methodological features such as types of publication, sample sizes, and research designs affect effect sizes in experiments.

Cheung, A., & Slavin, R. E. (2015). How methodological features affect effect sizes in education. Best Evidence Encyclopedia, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD.


Implementation of the Felix Consent Decree in Hawaii: The Impact of Policy and Practice Development Efforts on Service Delivery

Felix Consent Decree, identified that children and youth with educational disabilities who need mental health services to benefit from their public education must receive assessment and treatment services within a system of care.

Chorpita, B. F., & Donkervoet, C. (2005). Implementation of the Felix consent decree in Hawaii. In Handbook of mental health services for children, adolescents, and families (pp. 317-332). Springer, Boston, MA.

A systematic review of interventions to increase peer interactions for students with complex communication challenges

Although positive peer relationships can facilitate the academic learning, skill development, and emotional well-being of students with complex communication challenges, few peer interactions are likely to take place in school settings apart from intentional intervention and support efforts. We conducted a systematic review to identify and examine intervention approaches aimed at improving peer interaction outcomes for school-aged children with complex communication challenges who regularly used or might benefit from augmentative and alternative communication (AAC).

Chung, Y. C., Carter, E. W., & Sisco, L. G. (2012). A systematic review of interventions to increase peer interactions for students with complex communication challenges. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities37(4), 271-287.

The Accountability Illusion

This study examines the NCLB accountability systems and the basic AYP rules for 28 states as they operate in practice

Cronin, J., Dahlin, M., Xiang, Y., & McCahon, D. (2009). The accountability illusion. Retrieved from accountabilityillusion/2009_AccountabilityIllusion_WholeReport.pdf

To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System

This report describes a serious concern in health care that, if discussed at all, is discussed only behind closed doors. As health care and the system that delivers it become more complex, the opportunities for errors abound.

Donaldson, M. S., Corrigan, J. M., & Kohn, L. T. (Eds.). (2000). To err is human: building a safer health system (Vol. 6). National Academies Press.

Welcome to Implementation Science

Implementation research is the scientific study of methods to promote the systematic uptake of research findings and other evidence-based practices into routine practice, and, hence, to improve the quality and effectiveness of health services and care. This relatively new field includes the study of influences on healthcare professional and organisational behaviour.

Eccles, M. P., & Mittman, B. S. (2006). Welcome to implementation science.

The challenges of implementing evidence based practice: Ethical considerations in practice, education, policy, and research.

This paper identified and discussed some of the more pressing challenges and associated ethical dilemmas of implementing EBP in social work and strategies to manage them, in the hopes of affirming that the process of EBP is both feasible and practicable.

Farley, A. (2009). The challenges of implementing evidence based practice: ethical considerations in practice, education, policy, and research. Social Work & Society7(2), 246-259.

Nation at risk: The imperative for educational reform: A report to the Nation and the Secretary of Education, United States Department of Education

A report entitled A Nation at Risk was published based on information distilled from commissioned research papers and public hearings. The report contains summaries of the papers and hearings; a list of findings in content, expectations, time, and teaching; a set of recommendations; and aspects of implementation related to con

Gardner, D. P., Larsen, Y. W., Baker, W., Campbell, A., & Crosby, E. A. (1983). A nation at risk: The imperative for educational reform (p. 65). Washington, DC: United States Department of Education.

Diffusion of Innovations in Service Organizations: Systematic Review and Recommendations

This article summarizes an extensive literature review addressing the question, How can we spread and sustain innovations in health service delivery and organization? It considers both content and process.  

Greenhalgh, T., Robert, G., Macfarlane, F., Bate, P., & Kyriakidou, O. (2004). Diffusion of innovations in service organizations: systematic review and recommendations. The Milbank Quarterly82(4), 581-629.

Are we closing the school discipline gap?

This report examines data on out of school suspension rates in every school district in the country. 

Losen, D. J., Hodson, C. L., Keith, I. I., Michael, A., Morrison, K., & Belway, S. (2015). Are we closing the school discipline gap?.

A systematic review of single-case research on video analysis as professional development for special educators.

This meta-analysis reports on the overall effectiveness of video analysis when used with special educators, as well as on moderator analyses related to participant and instructional characteristics.

Morin, K. L., Ganz, J. B., Vannest, K. J., Haas, A. N., Nagro, S. A., Peltier, C. J., … & Ura, S. K. (2019). A systematic review of single-case research on video analysis as professional development for special educators. The Journal of Special Education53(1), 3-14.

Further evaluation of the accuracy of reinforcer surveys: A systematic replication.

The present report evaluates the accuracy of a reinforcer survey by comparing the survey results to the results of subsequent reinforcer assessments for 20 children using a concurrent-operants arrangement to assess relative reinforcer preference.

Northup, J. (2000). Further evaluation of the accuracy of reinforcer surveys: A systematic replication. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis33(3), 335-338.syste

Equality and Quality in U.S. Education: Systemic Problems, Systemic Solutions. Policy Brief

This paper enters debate about how U.S. schools might address long-standing disparities in educational and economic opportunities while improving the educational outcomes for all students. with a vision and an argument for realizing that vision, based on lessons learned from 60 years of education research and reform efforts. The central points covered draw on a much more extensive treatment of these issues published in 2015. The aim is to spark fruitful discussion among educators, policymakers, and researchers.

O'Day, J. A., & Smith, M. S. (2016). Equality and Quality in US Education: Systemic Problems, Systemic Solutions. Policy Brief. Education Policy Center at American Institutes for Research.

Building Sustainable Public Health Systems Change at the State Level

A qualitative, descriptive study design was used to analyze the strategies used by Turning Point state partnerships to meet the challenges of sustaining their system improvements. 

Padgett, S. M., Bekemeier, B., & Berkowitz, B. (2005). Building sustainable public health systems change at the state level. Journal of Public Health Management and Practice11(2), 109-115.

Extending the school day or school year: A systematic review of research

The school year and day length have varied over time and across localities depending on the particular needs of the community. Proponents argue that extending time will have learning and nonacademic benefits. Opponents suggest increased time is not guaranteed to lead to more effective instruction and suggest other costs. 

Patall, E. A., Cooper, H., & Allen, A. B. (2010). Extending the school day or school year: A systematic review of research (1985–2009). Review of educational research80(3), 401-436.

The Effect of Linguistic Comprehension Training on Language and Reading Comprehension

This review considers whether language-supportive programs are effective. The research aims to examine the immediate and long-run effects of such programs on generalized measures of linguistic comprehension and reading comprehension.

Rogde, K., Hagen, Å. M., Melby-Lervåg, M., & Lervåg, A. (2019). The Effect of Linguistic Comprehension Training on Language and Reading Comprehension: A Systematic Review. Campbell Systematic Reviews.

A Systematic Review of Teacher-Delivered Behavior-Specific Praise on K–12 Student Performance

The authors conducted a systematic literature review to explore this low-intensity, teacher-delivered strategy, applying Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) quality indicators and standards to determine whether BSP can be considered an evidence-based practice (EBP).

Royer, D. J., Lane, K. L., Dunlap, K. D., & Ennis, R. P. (2019). A systematic review of teacher-delivered behavior-specific praise on K–12 student performance. Remedial and Special Education40(2), 112-128.

Revisiting "The Culture of the School and the Problem of Change."

First published in 1971, the book challenged many major assumptions about institutional change and examined efforts to implement Public Law 94-142 (Education for All Handicapped Children) into public schools. The book argued that federal efforts to restructure education were generally a failure.

Sarason, S. B. (1996). Revisiting" The culture of the school and the problem of change". Teachers College Press.


Replication has taken on more importance recently because the ESSA evidence standards only require a single positive study. To meet the strong, moderate, or promising standards, programs must have at least one “well-designed and well-implemented” study using randomized (strong), matched (moderate), or correlational (promising) designs and finding significantly positive outcomes. 

Slavin, R. (2019). Replication. [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Understanding Bias Due to Measures Inherent to Treatments in Systematic Reviews in Education

This paper contrasts effect sizes in What Works Clearinghouse and Best Evidence Encyclopedia reading and math reviews to explore the degree to which these measures produce different estimates.

Slavin, R. E., & Madden, N. A. (2008). Understanding bias due to measures inherent to treatments in systematic reviews in education. In annual meeting of the Society for Research on Effective Education, Crystal City, VA.

Publication bias: The Achilles’ heel of systematic reviews?

This paper describes the problem of publication bias with reference to its history in a number of fields, with special reference to the area of educational research.

Torgerson, C. J. (2006). Publication bias: The Achilles’ heel of systematic reviews? British Journal of Educational Studies, 54(1), 89-102.


The relation between implementation fidelity and students’ reading outcomes: A systematic review of the literature

Implementation fidelity is often thought of as a necessary condition to achieve internal validity and as having a relation to student outcomes. To examine the nature of this relation, we reviewed reading intervention studies for students in K-12 in which measures of implementation fidelity were included in final data analysis.

van Dijk, W., Lane, H., & Gage, N. A. (2019). The Relation Between Implementation Fidelity and Students’ Reading Outcomes: A Systematic Review of the Literature.

On the Academic Performance of New Jersey's Public School Children: I. Fourth and Eighth Grade Mathematics in 1992

This report describes the first of a series of researches that will attempt to characterize the performance of New Jersey's public school system.

Wainer, H. (1994). On the Academic Performance of New Jersey's Public School Children: I. Fourth and Eighth Grade Mathematics in 1992. ETS Research Report Series1994(1), i-17.

A Systematic Review of the Empirical Support for Check-In Check-Out

This systematic review synthesizes the characteristics, methodological quality, and outcomes of 15 single-subject studies and one group design study examining CICO. 

Wolfe, K., Pyle, D., Charlton, C. T., Sabey, C. V., Lund, E. M., & Ross, S. W. (2016). A systematic review of the empirical support for check-in check-out. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions18(2), 74-88.

Best Evidence Encyclopedia

The Best Evidence Encyclopedia is a free web site created by the Johns Hopkins University School of Education's Center for Data-Driven Reform in Education (CDDRE) 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 the evidence supporting a variety of programs available for students in grades K-12.

Campbell Collaboration (C2)

The organization promotes well-informed decision making by preparing, maintaining and disseminating systematic reviews in education, crime and justice, social welfare and international development.

What Works Clearinghouse (WWC)

The goal of the WWC is a resource for informed education decision-making. The WWC identifies evidence-based practice, program, or policy, and disseminates summary information on the WWC website.

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