In a notice published in the Federal Register today, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) issued a new rule which amends the definition of “evidence-based” within the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The notice states that a portion of the definition – and a selection factor for grants – was inadvertently left out in a previous rule, published in July of 2017.
ED says that it will reinsert a selection factor, asking about the extent to which the methods of evaluation provide valid and reliable performance data. It will also remove the term “randomized control trial” from the definitions used in grant competitions, as there are many types of experimental studies ED feels can produce such data. The new definition of “strong evidence” will include additional types of experimental studies in addition to randomized control trials.
ED is bypassing regular rulemaking procedures which would normally require proposed rulemaking because, it says, these regulations make only technical changes and do not establish substantive policy.
The Federal Register notice is available here.