For the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES), DSG conducts Ad-Hoc Reviews of Individual Studies in Education (known as ARISE). 

DSG reviews evidence and develops products to support the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC), an evidence-based repository. The IES established the WWC in 2002 to provide educators, policymakers, researchers, and the public with a central and trusted source of scientific evidence of what works in education to improve student outcomes. The WWC serves as an authoritative voice on evidence regarding the efficacy of education practices, products, programs, and policies in prekindergarten through postsecondary education that show promise for improving student outcomes. 

The WWC offers numerous resources for researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to use to review what works in education, including

  • Intervention reports, which summarize the effectiveness research on existing programs, practices, policies, and interventions to determine the effects on student outcomes. These reports can be accessed through the WWC’s Find What Works tool, which allows users to filter results by subject, student group, and other topics. 
  • Practice guides, which provide recommendations for educators to address challenges in their classrooms and schools around specific topics, including mathematics, reading, English language learners, special education, dropout prevention and more. These guides are based on reviews of research, the experiences of practitioners, and the opinions of a panel of nationally recognized experts. 
  • Reviews of individual studies, in which the design and execution of completed research is reviewed by experts to determine whether these studies meet the WWC’s rigorous design standards. 
  • Resources for researchers, such as methodological guidelines and training on rigorous research designs, which help to advance the education research field. 

For this project, DSG works with Department of Education’s (ED’s) Institute of Education Sciences to update current WWC products by integrating new studies into the evidence base and to conduct evidence reviews assessing the quality of existing research on education interventions at the request of IES or ED program offices, or for grant competitions so that ED can fund projects with evidence of effect. The evidence from studies that meet WWC standards are summarized and disseminated. 


For more information about our work reviewing educational studies, contact Project Director Fran Harmon at or 301.951.0056.