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Evidence-Based Interventions

This page is a working document and will be updated periodically with additional resources concerning evidence-based interventions.

Requirements

All CSI and TSI schools must implement an evidence-based intervention as part of its annual School Comprehensive Education Plan (SCEP). 

Tiers of Evidence

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) defined four tiers of evidence-based support and stipulated the school receiving Title I 1003 School Improvement grants must include at least one evidence-based intervention that is in either Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3.

Tier 1 - Strong Evidence

Definition

Supported by strong evidence from at least one well designed, well implemented experimental study (randomized-control groups).

What does it mean?

Studies show that this strategy improves a relevant student outcome (e.g. reading scores, attendance rates).

In these studies, students have been randomly assigned to treatment groups or control groups, so that researchers can speak with confidence that those who participate in the intervention strategy outperform those who do not.

These studies meet the What Works Clearinghouse evidence standards without reservations.

The studies use large, multi-site samples.

Tier 2 - Moderate Evidence

Definition

Supported by at least one well-designed and well-implemented quasi-experimental study (matched groups, interrupted time series, et al.)

What does it mean?

Students have found that the strategy improves a relevant student outcome (e.g. reading scores, attendance rates).

Students in these students have not been randomly assigned, but researchers have used statistical matching methods that allow them to speak with confidence that the strategy results in an improved outcome. 

These studies meet the What Works Clearinghouse evidence standards with reservations.

The studies use large, multi-site samples.

No other studies show that this strategy negatively impacts an outcome.

Tier 3 - Promising Evidence

Definition

Supported by at least one well designed, well implemented correlational study with statistical controls for selection bias

What does it mean?

There is evidence that this strategy improves a student outcome (reading scores, attendance rates), but that research may consist of correlational studies -- studies that can show a relationship between the strategy and outcome but cannot show that the improved outcome was the result of the strategy.

The studies supporting Tier 3 strategies do not have to be based on large, multi-site samples.

A strategy that would otherwise be considered Tier 1 or Tier 2, but it does not meet the sample size requirements, is considered Tier 3.

No other studies show that this strategy negatively impacts an outcome

Tier 4 - Demonstrates a Rationale

Definition

High-quality research findings or positive evaluation suggests that this will likely improve student outcomes or other relevant outcomes; and there are ongoing efforts to examine the effects of such activity, strategy, or intervention.

What does it mean?

Based on existing research, the intervention cannot yet be defined as a Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3. However, there is good reason to believe — based on existing research and data — that the intervention could improve a relevant student outcome.

NOTE: A Tier 4 evidence-based intervention does not fulfil the requirement that all CSI and TSI schools must have at least one evidence-based intervention.

Identifying an Evidence-Based Intervention

As part of the development of the School Comprehensive Education Plan (SCEP), the SCEP Development Team consisting of school stakeholders will review multiple sources of information and feedback to identify areas of need and determine potential root causes. The SCEP Development Team should consider the areas of needs and root causes identified when deciding the evidence-based intervention(s) it will pursue.

State-supported Evidence-Based Strategies

The State will be providing a list of strategies that, if implemented according to the parameters outlined, will meet the evidence-based intervention requirement. 

Find a list of the state-supported Evidence-Based Strategies here.

This list will be periodically updated. 

Evidence-based Intervention Resources

There are a number of clearinghouse available that identify research supporting specific interventions.  Districts and schools are encouraged to review the various clearinghouses, including those identified below, to find programs and strategies that align to the needs identified in the needs assessment process.

NYSED has provided a crosswalk for each of the clearinghouses listed below.  Schools that identify a strategy from one of these clearinghouses will not need to identify the research that supports the strategy as an evidence-based intervention under ESSA; instead, schools can identify the rating the strategy received when reviewed by the clearinghouse. 

What Works Clearinghouse

The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) is organized by the Institute for Education Sciences within the U.S. Department of Education.

Rating System

WWC classifies programs into three categories:

  • Meets WWC Standards Without Reservations
  • Meets WWC Standards With Reservations
  • Does Not Meet WWC Standards

The process for determining the rating for each program is outlined in this infographic.

Any program that meets WWC standards, including those with reservations, meets the criteria for a Tier 1, 2, or 3 intervention.  A crosswalk between the WWC rating designations and the ESSA rating designations can be found below:

WWC Rating Criteria that prompted the WWC rating ESSA Evidence Tier
Meets Standards Without Reservations
  • Well designed, well implemented experimental study with low attrition.
  • Well designed, well implemented Regression Discontinuity Design.

If positive or potentially positive effectiveness rating with large multisite sample = Tier 1 Strong Evidence

If positive or potentially positive effectiveness rating without large multisite sample = Tier 3 Promising Evidence

Meets Standards With Reservations
  • Well designed, well implemented quasi-experimental design with baseline equivalence (or a Randomized Control Trial with high attrition that can be reviewed as a quasi-experimental design).

If positive/potentially positive effectiveness rating with large multisite sample = Tier 2 Moderate Evidence.

If positive/potentially positive effectiveness rating without large multisite sample = Tier 3 Promising Evidence.

Social Programs That Work

Social Programs That Work is a nonprofit philanthropic foundation that review programs in all areas of social policy, including K-12 education.

Rating System

Social Programs That Work provides three different ratings to the programs it reviews:

  • Top Tier
  • Near Top Tier
  • Suggestive Tier

Any program that is rated as Top Tier or Near Top Tier meets the criteria for an ESSA Tier 1 or 3 intervention.  A crosswalk between the Social Programs That Work rating designations and the ESSA rating designations can be found below:

Social Programs That Work Rating Criteria that prompted the Social Programs That Work rating ESSA Evidence Tier
Top Tier
  • Well-designed, well-implemented Randomized Control Trials in replicable setting
  • Large, sustained effects
  • Must be multisite

If sample size is large = Tier 1 Strong Evidence

If sample size is not large = Tier 3 Promising Evidence

Near Top Tier
  • Meet all but one of the Top Tier standards

Tier 3 Promising Evidence

Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development

Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development identifies evidence-based prevention and intervention programs that are effective in reducing antisocial behavior and promoting a healthy course of youth development.

Rating System

Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development classifies programs into three categories:

  • Model Plus Programs
  • Model Programs
  • Promising Programs

Any program that meets Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development standards and connects to student outcomes meets the criteria for a Tier 1, 2, or 3 intervention.  A crosswalk between the Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development rating designations and the ESSA rating designations can be found below:

Blueprint for Healthy Youth Development Rating Criteria that prompted the rating ESSA Evidence Tier
Model Plus Programs
  • At least two high-quality Randomized Control Trials (RCT) or one RCT and one Quasi-Experimental Design (QED).
  • Significant sustained positive impact on intended outcomes.
  • No evidence of negative effects.
  • Intervention specificity, outcomes, risk/protective factors, and logic model all specifically described.
  • Results have been independently replicated. 

If large/multisite sample = Tier 1 Strong Evidence.

If no sample size information is available or sample is not large/multisite = Tier 3 Promising Evidence.

Model Programs
  • At least two high-quality RCTs or one RCT and one QED.
  • Significant sustained positive impact on intended outcomes.
  • No evidence of negative effects. Intervention specificity, outcomes, risk/protective factors, and logic model all specifically described.

If large/multisite sample = Tier 1 Strong Evidence.

If no sample size information is available or sample is not large/multisite = Tier 3 Promising Evidence.

Promising Programs
  • One high-quality RCT or two high-quality QEDs.
  • Significant positive impact on intended outcomes.
  • No evidence of negative effects.
  • Intervention specificity, outcomes, risk/protective factors, and logic model all specifically described.

If large/multisite sample and RCT = Tier 1 Strong Evidence.

If large/multisite sample and 2 QEDs = Tier 2 Moderate Evidence.

If no sample size information is available or sample is not large/multisite = Tier 3 Promising Evidence.

Evidence-Reviews

The sites below have conducted evidence-reviews of specific strategies. Schools can use this information to identify research supporting a variety of strategies and programs.  Schools interested in pursuing a strategy identified through this means will need to submit a link to evidence that supports the strategy as a Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3 evidence-based intervention.

Additional Resources

Below you will find some general research sites that can help schools identify research supporting a variety of strategies and programs.  Schools interested in pursuing a strategy identified through this means will need to submit a link to evidence that supports the strategy as a Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3 evidence-based intervention.

Implementation

Once a school identifies an evidence-based intervention(s), it must be strategic with how it implements the intervention(s).  Evidence-based interventions may not lead to success if they are not implemented with fidelity.  Schools must also consider how the intervention is communicated and how it is monitored after it begins.