CEC standards for evidence-based practice

The Council for Exceptional Children released a document providing guidance for identifying evidence-based practices in special education on 23 January 2014. Developed by a work group composed of leaders from the Division for Research—Bryan Cook (chair), Viriginia Buysse, Janette Klingner, Tim Landrum, Robin McWilliam, Melody Tankersley, and Dave Test—and aimed at serving groups or individuals who understand educational research design and methods, the standards provide a means for categorizing practices as (a) evidence-based, (b) potentially evidence-based, (c) mixed evidence, (d) insufficient evidence, or (e) negative evidence. To make these determinations, groups or individuals will need to apply quality indicators, which the document also identifies to studies, to ascertain the extent to which individual studies are methodologically sound.

Hats off to these folks for this work and to CEC for supporting it. There are many things to like here, and not the least of them is that the standards cover the full spectrum of possible outcomes, including negative evidence. Now comes the demanding task of applying them to bodies of literature, and letting the chips fall where they may.

Download your own copy of the standards from the CEC Website and read the CEC press release about the standards.

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