Research Use Under Pressure: State and District Implementation of the ESSA Evidence Requirements
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CitationYoshizawa, Lauren. 2020. Research Use Under Pressure: State and District Implementation of the ESSA Evidence Requirements. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard Graduate School of Education.
AbstractThere is growing policy interest in requiring evidence-based decision-making. The premise is that, by mandating the use of research, policymakers can ensure that schools and districts invest their school improvement efforts and funding more wisely. In this dissertation, I study state and district implementation of the evidence requirements in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). In the first paper, I present three different ways that eight states approached the requirements while developing their ESSA plans: using lists of pre-sanctioned evidence-based interventions, training schools and districts to find and evaluate the research supporting potential interventions, and building local evidence of effectiveness. In the second paper, I follow one state into its first year of implementation and observe three districts attempting to use the state’s new tools and trainings. Together, these studies highlight the importance of policymakers’ interpretive processes when making sense of and adapting new policy mandates, and the challenges involved in tightening the linkages between practice and external policy pressures. They also suggest that the imposition of evidence use may at times impede the very practices and ways of thinking it aims to encourage.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37364539