Using research to inform education practice

How do state education agencies gather research to influence school and district policy?

research-stateSchool improvement is on every education agenda across the country, but with guidance from a first-of-its kind study, schools and districts can better understand how state education agencies find and implement research to inform practice.

According to the report, “How State Education Agencies Acquire and Use Research in School Improvement Strategies,”conducted by the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE), over the last 20 years, state and federal laws and grant programs have given state education agencies (SEAs) more responsibilities for improving low-performing schools.

“At the same time, they have pressed SEAs and school districts to incorporate research-based school improvement policies and practices in their statewide systems of support for low-performing schools, technical assistance for districts, professional development for teachers, and schools improvement programs,” according to the report.

However, the most recent research on how SEAs operate was conducted more than 20 years ago, which begs the question: “Do SEAs effectively incorporate good research to inform policy?”

(Do you think SEAs do a good job of incorporating research into state policy and practice? Take our poll on Page 4. Next page: Types of research)

Meris Stansbury

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