Skip Navigation
Print Evaluations

About Us About Us

Who We Are

Established by the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002 (ESRA), the Evaluation Division resides in the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (NCEE). NCEE is one of four centers that comprise the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences (IES). The work of the Evaluation Division is managed by a team of IES staff with expertise in education evaluation and conducted under a number of contracts held by leading research organizations.

What We Do

The Evaluation Division conducts evaluations of federal education programs and strategies that these programs commonly use or could use as a possible way to enhance outcomes. These evaluations yield valuable insights about federal investments in education and can help identify what works and guide program improvement. Since IES was established in 2002, the Evaluation Division has launched over 70 evaluations. These evaluations form a cohesive portfolio of high-quality research that address a number of important topics in education, including:

  • Early literacy interventions
  • Professional development for teachers
  • Instruction of English learners
  • Education of students with disabilities
  • Interventions to improve low-performing schools
  • School choice programs
  • Supports for college access and completion

To learn more about the Evaluation Division's specific evaluation studies and portfolio of work on various education topics, browse our Evaluation Profiles.

How We Work

Consistent with ESRA, which established IES's evaluation authority, the Evaluation Division's work is guided by five key Evaluation Principles and Practices:

  • Independence. Evaluation contracts are awarded competitively to independent external experts. Evaluation reports are released to the public as soon as practicable after undergoing rigorous peer review to ensure objectivity and high scientific merit. No other approvals are required for publication, including from the Secretary of Education or any other office of the Department.
  • Relevance. Evaluations are designed to be responsive to legislative requirements and informed by the diverse needs of the education field, and then conducted as expediently as possible without sacrificing quality.
  • Quality. Evaluations use the research method that will generate the most credible answers to the questions of interest. For questions about the impact of education programs, an experimental design is typical, but other rigorous methods are used when random assignment is not feasible.
  • Transparency. Information about each evaluation, including its purpose, cost, and timeline, is posted on IES's website. All published evaluation reports are also posted on IES's website and deposited in ERIC–IES's online database of education research–to ensure that they are permanently available to the public.
  • Ethics. Evaluations adhere to the highest ethical standards for research, including safeguarding the dignity, rights, safety, and privacy of study participants.