The Commission on Evidence-based Policymaking is an opportunity that doesn’t come every year, and may not come again. Let’s make the most of it.
Systematically considering programs, practices, and policies that may move the needle in some of these important areas is the next frontier of research if we want to address inequality for this fast growing group of students.
It’s important to recognize that the form of research contributes to the social sense-making process, and can create a body of shared understandings based on research principles. Research designed for use, with specific guidance for practice, can embed common ideas in state school improvement delivery systems.
Michele McLaughlin, President of the Knowledge Alliance, talks about her experience interacting with decision makers in Washington, reflects on the often unseen ways that research shapes and influences ideas, and outlines implications for researchers looking to inform policy and practice.
We recently observed and interviewed leaders in a major urban school district as they set out to revise their district’s school improvement policies. In pursuing their goals, the leaders we followed drew heavily from the 2010 book, Organizing Schools for Improvement: Lessons from Chicago. Drawn from a longitudinal research study of hundreds of schools, Organizing […]
As we approach the next generation of evidence-based policy, it’s essential that we take steps to ensure that practitioners and decision makers at the state and local level have the support they need.
Cost-effectiveness comparisons can help decision makers take economic constraints into account when choosing educational reforms, ultimately improving evidence-based policy decisions and strengthening education systems.
Evidence doesn’t turn itself into policy, especially when it contradicts prevailing paradigms or entrenched funding streams. If we are serious about a What Works movement, we can’t allow ourselves or other decision makers to pick and choose which results we want to act upon.
By adopting and adapting the Oakland Athletics’ pioneering approach in baseball of making decisions informed by data—rather than hunches, biases, and “the way we’ve always done things”—we can get better returns on our federal education investments and better outcomes for students.
Evidence at the Crossroads Pt. 1: What Works, Tiered Evidence, and the Future of Evidence-based Policy
We are at a crossroads in evidence-based policy. Federal evidence initiatives can be strengthened, but doing so requires the will and the patience to learn from the work thus far. Otherwise, evidence-based policy will likely recede into the background as yet another policy fad that came and went. To move forward, let’s take a good hard look at the current evidence initiatives and identify what can be learned from them.