January 6, 2016Article

Huffington Post Education: What Works, In Context

by Tiffany Cooper Gueye


“Invest in what works.”

It seems simple: The public and private resources available to invest in reducing achievement gaps in education, teenage pregnancy rates, child poverty and any other cause are limited. Therefore, funding should be channeled to programs that are proven to be effective.

The new Every Student Succeeds Act could direct billions in federal funds to invest in what works. How we define “what works” will determine if we are ultimately successful.

This shift to evidence-based education policy follows a pattern set by federal programs such as the Social Innovation Fund and the Investing in Innovation Fund, and supported by private philanthropies such as the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation and The Wallace Foundation (both of which have supported evaluations of my organization). Such programs have funded a host of rigorous evaluations, including randomized controlled trials, of social interventions and uncovered valuable insight into the not only if interventions work, but more importantly, why and how they work.