EdTakeAways

Although the cries for "evidence" are frequent in the education space, evidence can prove elusive to practitioners: Where is it? How sound is it? What does it tell us about real-life situations? This essay is the first in a series that aims to put the pieces of research together so they can be used by those charged with choosing which policies and practices to implement. The conveners of this project—Susanna Loeb, the director of Brown University’s Annenberg Institute for School Reform, and Harvard education professor Heather Hill—have received grant support from the Annenberg Institute for this series.

 

This practice arose from a simple logic: To improve student outcomes, teachers should study students’ prior test performance, learn what students struggle with, and then adjust the curriculum or offer students remediation where necessary. By addressing the weaknesses revealed by the test results, overall student achievement would improve.
Welcome to "What Works, What Doesn't." Educators and policymakers want to make good choices for schools and districts. And research can help. For people in charge of schools and classrooms starting with "what the research says" can be critical in navigating the challenges of boosting student learning and creating environments where children thrive. Research brings to bear facts that have been collected and analyzed in purposeful, systematic, and often public ways. Its power to rise above the anecdotal is why people in medicine, business, and every type of public policy increasingly refer to it.