The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) was established in 2002 with funding from the U.S. Department of Education. The Clearinghouse was charged with producing user-friendly guides for educators on effective instructional practices in order to understand what instructional programs have been shown to be effective. Unfortunately, the WWC has failed to live up to its promise.
The WWC's reports promote curricula that the scientific community has found to be ineffective and inefficient and denigrate those that the scientific community has found to be highly effective. Here are some of the major problems documented by NIFDI staff:
- The WWC ignores large elements of the research base in searching the research literature.
- The WWC uses inconsistent and flawed criteria to choose studies to examine in depth.
- The WWC’s interpretations of the research are often inaccurate and misrepresent the conclusions of the studies.
- The WWC’s procedures and methods are very different than those used by most social scientists and widely accepted in the scientific community.
NIFDI staff have documented numerous problems with the procedures and reports of the What Works Clearinghouse. Learn more about some of these issues in the articles and reports below.
To learn more about concerns others have with the WWC's work, visit the links below.
What Doesn't Work Clearinghouse by Jay Greene (Oct 2010)
pdf Perspectives on Evidence-Based Research in Education by Robert Slavin (Educational Researcher, Jan/Feb 2008)
pdf Does What Works Clearinghouse Work? by Genevieve McArthur (Australasian Journal of Special Ed., Apr 2008)