Evidence is only as good as what you do with it

By Mark Lipsey, William T. Grant Foundation We are living in a time of unprecedented systematic research on the effectiveness of interventions that are intended to produce better outcomes. This level of effort is producing a substantial volume of intervention research, but a critical question is what to do with these studies? The federal government […]

Improving implementation research

By Barbara Goodson, William T. Grant Foundation Over the past two decades, the education research and policy landscape has been shaped by the concept of using evidence to make policies or adopt practices. And not just any type of evidence, but high-quality evidence generated by “scientifically valid research.” The methods for assessing intervention effectiveness are […]

New report lists top evidence-based interventions for youth with autism

Posted by Dave Shaw A new report based on a review of 29,000 articles identifies the most successful, evidence-based interventions for children and teenagers with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). “More children than ever are being diagnosed with autism,” says Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute (FPG) director Samuel L. Odom, who co-headed the new review. […]

What we talk about when we talk about evidence

By Jean Rhodes “Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.”  Ann Landers The summit is upon us, and many of us will optimistic tagline is “Mentoring Works.” Despite this assertion, the researchers in attendance will, no doubt, be wringing our collective hands about the relatively small effect sizes that have […]

Using Evidence To Do the Most Good, Even When it Reveals an “Inconvenient Truth”

By Patrick T. McCarthy (reposted W.T. Grant Foundation) Our supply of evidence about What Works, though still too small, is beginning to grow. I want to focus here on how we use evidence—how we put it to work to help more of our nation’s children and families achieve their full potential. Let’s focus on two important […]

From equal footing to lost ground: How can we achieve stronger effects?

by Jean Rhodes In 1979, a young assistant professor named Joe Durlak published a controversial study in Psychological Bulletin that sent ripples through the field of clinical psychology and provided momentum for what eventually became the mentoring movement. What he sought to do was combine all of the published studies that had compared the outcomes of […]

Separating the wheat from the chaff in youth mentoring

by Jean Rhodes Ron Haskins, the co-director of the Center on Children and Families at the Brookings Institution recently wrote a New York Times OpEd in which he made a strong case for the use of evaluation and evidence in social programs. As he notes, “Despite decades of efforts and trillions of dollars in spending, rigorous evaluations typically find […]

A response to the critique of the Brookings Institute report on mentoring

by Phillip Levine, Ph.D. I am grateful for the attention that my analysis has received and I believe there is more common ground here than one might otherwise gauge based on this critique (see below). Much of the critique is focused on the scope and nature of the evidence. My analysis was clear in restricting […]

From Supermarket Tomatoes to Apples: Aligning growth and quality through evidence

by Jean Rhodes In 2006, David DuBois and I wrote a report about the state of mentoring in which we likened aspects of the mentoring movement to supermarket tomatoes. As we argued, the field’s expansive growth goals in the 1990’s and early 2000’s had moved youth mentoring toward a mass production approach. That is, in […]