The ability of regression discontinuity (RD) designs to provide an unbiased treatment effect while overcoming the ethical concerns plagued by Random Control Trials (RCTs) make it a valuable and useful approach in education evaluation. RD is the only explicitly recognized quasi-experimental approach identified by the Institute of Education Statistics to meet the prerequisites of a causal relationship. Unfortunately, the statistical complexity of the RD design has limited its application in education research. This article provides a less technical introduction to RD for education researchers and practitioners. Using visual analysis to aide conceptual understanding, the article walks readers through the essential steps of a Sharp RD design using hypothetical, but realistic, district intervention data and provides additional resources for further exploration. Accessed 7,566 times on https://pareonline.net from August 03, 2014 to December 31, 2019. For downloads from January 1, 2020 forward, please click on the PlumX Metrics link to the right.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.