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The Center for Benefit-Cost Studies of Education developed DecisionMaker® to help school, district, and state education agency leaders make decisions that involve a choice between alternative educational activities, strategies, and interventions.

You can use DecisionMaker®, an online tool, to work through an education decision alone or in collaboration with stakeholders by identifying important factors and comparing them to alternatives, determining which one (or which combination) best meets stakeholder needs. By juxtaposing the stakeholder value of each Solution Option - its “utility” - against its costs, DecisionMaker® allows you to understand the trade-offs between monetary investments and stakeholder satisfaction. Revisiting the decision after implementation to assess whether performance meets expectations helps meet ESSA requirements for ongoing efforts to examine the effects of activities, strategies, or interventions and to assess how well they work in the decision-maker’s own context.


The decision-making framework used in DecisionMaker® is based on Multiattribute Utility Theory (MAUT) as developed by Edwards (1971); Edwards, Guttentag and Snapper (1975); and Edwards and Newman (1982). CBCSE adapted this framework for use in education contexts. DecisionMaker® was developed with the support and input of many current education decision-makers and practitioners, and was generously funded by a grant from the William T. Grant Foundation.