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Rigorous education research that is transparent, actionable, and focused on consequential outcomes has the potential to dramatically improve student achievement. Since 2002, the Institute of Education Sciences has supported rigorous evidence-building about education policy, programs, and practices. SEER complements the WWC's focus on internal validity by supporting a distinct, IES-wide effort that emphasizes additional factors that can make research transformational.

IES Director Mark Schneider introduced SEER in two blogs. You can read those blogs here and here. IES has iterated on SEER frequently and expects to continue to do so as we receive feedback from researchers, practitioners, and policymakers. IES' goal is to produce concrete standards against which research can be judged to award different levels of certification. Following the well-known LEED levels of certification these include: Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum.

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SEER encourages researchers to:

  • Pre-register studies
  • Make findings, methods, and data open
  • Address inequities in learners' opportunities, access to resources, and outcomes
  • Identify interventions' components
  • Document treatment implementation and contrast
  • Analyze interventions' costs
  • Use high-quality outcome measures
  • Facilitate generalization of study findings
  • Support scaling of promising interventions

SEER codifies practices that IES expects—and increasingly requires—to be implemented as part of IES-funded causal impact studies. But note that many standards and associated recommendations are applicable to other types of research and IES increasingly requires applicable standards be followed in those studies as well. IES-funded researchers should consult grant and contract documents for more information about how SEER applies to your project.

Last Modified: June 22, 2022