NIFDI Research Department Releases White Paper on What Works Clearinghouse
The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) was established by IES to summarize the research evidence on curricular programs. Yet, as many of you know, WWC conclusions often differ dramatically from those found in reviews and meta-analyses in the scholarly literature. As part of our attempt to understand why these differences appeared NIFDI requested, through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), information on concerns others had raised through a "quality review process" regarding WWC procedures and conclusions.
Staff researcher Tim Wood has recently released a NIFDI White Paper that summarizes the concerns expressed in 69 quality reviews. For instance, more than four-fifths of the people and organizations requesting reviews were concerned about misinterpretation of study findings. Over a third were concerned with both the exclusion and inclusion of relevant research. In addition to summarizing these concerns the white paper discusses general issues with accountability with the WWC and the FOIA process and presents a number of important policy recommendations. The full text of the white paper can be found pdf here .