The What Works Clearinghouse releases new reports throughout the year, and also participates in conferences, webinars, and other events. Use our news and events archive to find our reports and activities over time.
The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) reviewed a study that examined whether a school-based supplementary sleep education program improved sleep in elementary school students. The study assigned two schools to receive the Sleep for Success program and one school to a comparison group. The study authors reported that students assigned to receive Sleep for Success improved more in terms of both sleep and grades than the comparison group. The WWC reviewed this study and determined it does not meet group design standards because the comparison group included only one school, so the difference in outcomes between the intervention and comparison groups cannot be attributed solely to the intervention.
The Cognitive Tutor secondary mathematics curriculum offers a variety of courses designed to improve mathematics achievement. The WWC found that Cognitive Tutor Algebra I has mixed effects on algebra achievement and no discernible effects on general mathematics achievement for secondary students. In addition, the WWC found that Cognitive Tutor Geometry has potentially negative effects on geometry achievement for secondary students. No studies that examine Cognitive Tutor Algebra II or Cognitive Tutor Integrated Math I, II, and III meet WWC group design standards; therefore, more research is needed to determine their effectiveness.
A study of the supplementary program Reading Partners, which provides struggling elementary readers with individualized tutoring, has found the program to have positive impacts on reading comprehension, reading fluency, and sight word efficiency for a sample of over 1,200 students in 19 elementary schools in California, New York, and Washington, DC. The study is a randomized controlled trial with low attrition, and the research meets WWC group design standards without reservations.
This report on Accelerated Reader incorporates re-reviews of studies using current WWC standards and reviews of 25 new studies. Accelerated Reader is a computerized supplementary reading program that provides guided reading instruction to students in grades K-12. This review of the program focuses on studies that examine outcomes for beginning readers (students in grades K-3). Based on the updated review of the research, the WWC found Accelerated Reader to have mixed effects on comprehension and no discernible effects on reading fluency for beginning readers.
In this quasi-experimental study, researchers examined the impacts of public elementary and middle school closures on more than 22,700 displaced students in Ohio. To measure impacts, researchers compared test scores of displaced students and comparison students. However, these groups had differences in test scores in the year prior to the school closures, and the equivalence of the two groups prior to the closures could not be established. Therefore, the research does not meet WWC group design standards.
This study examined whether students who read stories about the personal or intellectual struggles of famous scientists had higher science grades than students who read only about the scientists' achievements. The study authors randomly assigned students in four New York City high schools to three groups within the same science classrooms. One group of students was assigned to read about the personal struggles of Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, and Michael Faraday, while another read about their intellectual struggles. A third group was assigned to read about their achievements without mention of their struggles. The study authors reported that students who read stories about the scientists' personal or intellectual struggles had higher science grades than students who read about their achievements only. This study meets WWC group design standards with reservations.
The WWC reviewed the research on UCSMP's secondary courses and found that UCSMP Algebra I has potentially positive effects on both general mathematics achievement and algebra for secondary students. In addition, the cumulative effect of multiple UCSMP courses was found to have potentially positive effects on general mathematics achievement for secondary students.
The WWC reviewed the research on Saxon Math’s secondary courses and found that Saxon Algebra I has no discernible effects on algebra achievement for secondary students.
The results of a recent study show that INSIGHTS into Children's Temperament, a program designed to enhance the development of students at risk for academic and behavioral difficulties in elementary school, improved academic outcomes for shy students. The program aims to improve the fit between the classroom environment and students' individual temperaments. The study is a well-executed randomized controlled trial with low attrition that meets WWC group design standards without reservations.
This longitudinal study investigated the impact of immediate vs delayed college enrollment on freshman year retention, and on the likelihood of either earning a degree or still being enrolled in college 6 years after high school graduation. The WWC reviewed the study and determined that it does not meet WWC group design standards.