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Voices for Evidence in Education

This blog hosts occasional guests who share a deep commitment to advancing education innovation with evidence. Here are a few recent contributions that you may have missed:

Education Innovation: What It Is and Why We Need More of It
By Jim Shelton
Education not only needs new ideas and inventions that shatter the performance expectations of today's status quo; to make a meaningful impact, these new solutions must also "scale," that is grow large enough to serve millions of students and teachers or large portions of specific under-served populations. True educational innovations are those products, processes, strategies, and approaches that improve significantly upon the status quo and reach scale.

What Would Evidence-Based Policy Look Like in Education?
By Steve Fleischman
I was struck several years ago while reading "Polio: An American Story" how, led by science and the commitments of policy leaders, our entire nation was mobilized in a multi-decade effort to eradicate the dreaded disease. Even Lucy and Desi and other celebrities of the 1950s were engaged in the cause. Today, by combining science and policy, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has extended the fight against polio around the world. Imagine if evidence-based policy could similarly mobilize our entire nation to accomplish a few critical educational outcomes: all children reading by grade three, successful transitions to high school, and significant reductions in dropout rates. What would our education system look like then?

Gold-Standard Program Evaluations, on a Shoestring Budget
By Jon Baron
In today's tough economic climate, quality evaluations of education reforms - to determine which are truly effective in improving student achievement, graduation rates, and other key outcomes - are especially important. They enable us to focus our limited resources on strategies that have been proven to work.

A Commitment to Research Yields Improvement in Charter Network
By Richard Barth
This process of improvement is hard work; there's no question. But by committing to research and accountability, we can set off a more vigorous and transparent conversation among public educators across the country about what we need to do to ensure success for all of our schools and students.

Supplemental Educational Services: Noble Ideas + Unreasonable Expectations = Disappointing Results
By Steven Ross
Making tutoring available to increase the academic performance of low-achieving and disadvantaged students is a noble idea. After all, one-on-one and small-group tutoring has been supported by extensive research evidence, while having universal appeal as a teaching strategy. However, expectations that tutoring can be delivered efficiently and effectively when filtered through multiple layers of administrative requirements and processes are unrealistic.

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