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Randomized Trials Do Work

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An example of randomized control trial used for a program evaluation;

“Career Academies is an educational program that enrolls middle and high school student applicants in academic and technical courses in small learning communities with a career theme and partnership with local employers. Participants’ high school graduation rates are one of the outcome measures of interest. A well-designed RCT of over 1,700 students that randomly assigned student applicants into an Academy or into a non-Academy control group that continued regular schooling found that the intervention did not result in increased graduation rates at the eight year follow-up. By contrast, if the evaluation had used a comparison group design comprised of like students from similar schools, the evaluation would have concluded erroneously that Career Academies increased the graduation rate by a large and statistically significant 33 percent.”

-Source; What Constitutes Strong Evidence of a Program’s Effectiveness?

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