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Establishing Comparison Groups


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MSP projects consistently report that establishing comparisons groups is challenging for a variety of reasons including rurality and geographic proximity, treatment equity, the burden on teachers, resistance to data sharing, teacher accountability, and confidentiality. During this session Mr. Banilower and Dr. Turner will share strategies they have found to be successful for identifying comparable comparison groups, what they learned from their experiences, and what they would recommend to others facing the same challenges with MSP evaluations.

About the panelists:

Eric R. Banilower is a Vice President at Horizon Research, Inc. (HRI), and has worked in education for over 20 years. His career started as a high school physics and physical science teacher.  During this time he participated in the California Scope, Sequence, and Coordination project developing curriculum and assessment materials for the California science reform project. Since joining HRI in 1997, Mr. Banilower has led the evaluation of a number of NSF-funded projects, including several current projects such as University of South Florida’s Systematic Transformation of Education Through Evidence-Based Reforms project, which is seeking to improve undergraduate STEM education, and Iowa State University’s Teachers and Engineers Collaborating in STEM Elementary Teacher Preparation project, which is working to improve elementary STEM education.

Herbert M. Turner, III, is the Founder, President, and Principal Scientist of ANALYTICA, Inc., a woman-owned and minority-led small business that specializes in using scientifically-valid research methods to address policy-relevant education problems.  Dr. Turner received his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of Delaware and his Doctoral Degree in Education with a specialization in evaluation in measurement from the University of Pennsylvania. During the past decade, Dr. Turner contributed to innovative and cutting-edge initiatives designed to transform education research into an evidence-based, scientifically valid field. These initiatives include the Campbell Collaboration, the What Works Clearinghouse, the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Program, the Investing in Innovation (i3) program, and the Social Innovation Fund (SIF). In addition to leading ANALYTICA, Inc., Dr. Turner is adjunct associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education.