Evidence at the Crossroads
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.
A culture of evidence that shapes the accreditation of educator preparation programs can have an enormous influence over the education landscape. But will it work?
Balancing impact and improvement is not a matter of doing the impossible. Rather, it is a matter of duplicating success.
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.
We need a cookbook full of recipes for effective practice, but even better is knowing how to create recipes for effective practice from the ingredients on hand in the local kitchen.
If our search for effective reforms for educational practice is successful, having strong and reliable evidence on implementation will be crucial for enacting real reform in our schools.
Evidence at the Crossroads Pt. 4: The Obama Behavioral Insights Team, an Important Addition to Evidence-based Policy
Evidence-based policy is expanding its reach, this time by showing new ways to influence behavior, improve the efficiency of government programs, and save money.
As the evidence movement matures, it is increasingly clear that we need to build on lessons not only from clear successes, but also from interventions that have not worked. Neither program developers nor researchers can tackle this task in isolation.
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.