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September 25, 2013 1:48 PM Who Cares What Works?

By Daniel Luzer

Shrug

The Department of Education has decided to suspend its “Doing What Works” website, which provided information (“videos, slideshows, and tools”) designed for teachers to learn about effective education strategies.

According to an article in the Washington Post :

[Spokesman] Massie Ritsch [said] the department had no money for Doing What Works. He said in an e-mail: The ED office managing Doing What Works did not have sufficient funding to continue operating the website and producing new material.

When I contacted the Department the spokesman declined to say how much money it costs the Department to operate the website.

Some sources initially reported that the Department was suspending the What Works Clearinghouse, the general website where interested parties can check out research on various different programs, products, practices, and policies in education. WWC is still alive and well.

Doing What Works was a smaller component of WWC, providing more teacher-friendly materials.

This is, of course, a budgeting decision. Organizations make these kinds of choices all the time based on priorities and expenses. It’s also unclear how useful teachers actually found the site.

Still, as Diane Ravitch writes:

I’m quite sad that the piece that was actually useful to teachers is no longer being supported. DWW had been contracted out to AIR and WestEd — not sure if they just lost the contract, or if this is a result of the sequestration, or what.

The Department is apparently “working to place the archive of resources on another site for educators to use.”

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer

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