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Research & Analysis

“Last year one of the most comprehensive studies, by researchers from Stanford University, found that fewer than one-fifth of charter schools nationally offered a better education than comparable local schools, almost half offered an equivalent education and more than a third, 37 percent, were 'significantly worse.'”

— New York Times, May 1, 2010

Research and Analysis: Better Information for Better Decisions

CREDO helps a range of organizations to obtain reliable and useful information on the impact of education reform programs and policies – a complex endeavor that requires expertise in study design, data collection, analysis and interpretation. We regularly work with state departments of education to structure research and evaluations for new programs. In addition, we often advise legislative staff and members of the U.S. Congress on program performance, accountability and evaluations. Foundations also frequently seek our help in assessing initiatives they sponsor.

While the majority of our studies focus on the rigorous analysis of the effect of education programs on student achievement, we also undertake formative and process evaluations to help clients examine and better manage their programs. In addition, we have a special interest in improving ways to measure school quality and impact. To that end, we are engaged in creating new metrics for evaluating school performance and testing the validity and reliability of these new approaches. Applying our expertise, we can provide valuable insight about the creation or improvement of systems for evaluating areas such as:

  • Accountability policies
  • Student reward and incentive programs
  • New hiring and/or retention practices
  • New professional development impacts
  • Changes in the school calendar
  • Changes in financial incentives
  • New school models