5/31/2006

The Problem With Think Tank Research

Over at Education News, guest columnist Checker Finn follows many others in asking questions about the recently created Think Tank Review Project.

True enough, Alex Molnar and the other folks in the TTRP may not be in the best position to say what's biased and what isn't, given their established positions on various issues under review. Equally true, Checker Finn probably shouldn't be the one pointing that out, given that he and his kind are the intended subjects of the project.

Think tank research is increasingly being used by both sides of pretty much every debate to substitute for academic research. Done poorly, think tank research can confuse the public, create a certain amount of policy churn, and undercut confidence in academic research it purports to complement.

1 Comments:

Blogger Ed Researcher said...

We don't need a TTRP, we just need more intelligent criticism of research produced by these organizations. That means we have to read the reports in greater depth, ask more questions, and try to replicate results that seem anomalous.

In turn, research organizations need to be held to high standards of transparency. They must reveal their methods before they see the data. They must provide detailed backup for all their claims. They must release data for public use by other researchers.

9:36 AM  

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