CRUE team members are involved in wide range of research use related projects in collaboration with partners across the globe.

Building Capacity for Evidence-Informed Improvement: Supporting State and Local Education Agencies

Elizabeth N. Farley-Ripple, University of Delaware

Norma Ming, San Francisco Unified School District

Dan Goldhaber, University of Washington & the American Institutes for Research

Akisha Osei Sarfo, Council of the Great City Schools

Paula Arce-Trigatti, National Network of Education Research Practice-Partnerships

State education agencies (SEAs) and local education agencies (LEAs) are critical levers for strengthening the educational system’s capacity to generate and use evidence for continuous improvement. However, the work of evidence generation and use is not well-understood within these agencies, nor is there a strong understanding of how the larger educational ecosystem influences this aspect of agency work. This report summarizes two convenings with state and local agency research office leaders, organized by members of the broader education community to create a space to share and to learn about the evidence-related work of educational agencies. More than 60 participants joined these convenings to share perspectives on the factors that support the work as well as the challenges they face, offering recommendations for how the larger educational system can support and benefit from their efforts to generate, elevate and facilitate the use of evidence. 

Summary Report and Recommendations

District Research Leaders as Knowledge Mobilizers and Brokers

Samantha Shewchuk and Elizabeth N. Farley-Ripple, University of Delaware

The role of district research leaders (DRLs) in central offices has emerged as a strategy for improving the creation, flow, and use of research knowledge in decision-making. However, there is limited information about the responsibilities, opportunities, and challenges inherent in these roles. The purpose of this study is to explore DRLs as knowledge mobilizers and brokers of research knowledge.

Findings From the District Research Leader Knowledge Mobilization Survey

Survey of Knowledge Mobilization Among District Research Leaders

Taxonomy of DRL Job Tasks

A Job Description and Resume Analysis of District Research Leaders

Mapping the Field: Use of Research Evidence in Policy and Practice

Elizabeth N. Farley-Ripple, University of Delaware

Annette Boaz, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Kathryn Oliver, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Robert Borst, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Xiaoxue Zhang, University of Delaware

The use of research evidence (URE) in policy and practice is relevant to many academic
disciplines and indeed many policy and practice domains. Different methods and approaches to
measuring, evaluating, promoting and describing the various ways in which evidence and
policy/practice interact have sprung up, reflecting the broad and diverse areas where this is a
concern. There has also been an explosion of research into how evidence is produced and used,
with dedicated journals and increased funding for URE work emerging over last 15 years. Yet at
the same time, those engaged in the scholarship and practice of URE face challenges advancing
the field in terms of both accumulation of knowledge over time and across disciplines and
intervention and improvement in evidence use. Our shared interest in advancing URE and its
efforts, in collaboration with the William T. Grant Foundation, brought us together to “map the
field” in this research report, with the objective of provoking a conversation about where we are and what we need to
move forward.

Mapping the field: Use of research evidence in policy and practice

In addition to the research report, the authors also provide two additional resources:

Finding Support: Organizations Funding URE Work

Scholars across disciplines and countries are engaging in work related to the use of research evidence (URE). Their work is funded by a range of sources, from private philanthropies to government agencies, demonstrating the scope and scale of commitment across the globe. This document clarifies the scope of support for this work and promotes funding opportunities and potential collaboration among URE scholars and leaders across organizations.

Influential Works: Knowledge Utilization References

Our first step in “mapping the field” was to learn more about who does this work and who has influenced their efforts. In this document, we share one of the first products – a reference list. More than 120 resources, spanning decades, disciplines, and formats are included.

Education Data Systems: A Systematic Look at State Practices Related to Researcher Access

Elizabeth N. Farley-Ripple, Jesse Sheeks, Amanda B. Jennings, Andrew Millin

As expectations for research and data to inform educational decision making continue to grow under federal policy, state longitudinal data systems (SLDS) are in place in nearly all states and offer a unique resource for generating evidence to support improvement efforts. However, little is known about whether and how researchers are able to access these data. State processes and procedures for granting researcher access may support or impede the generation of timely and relevant research.  In this paper, we present findings of a content analysis of state education agency (SEA) websites that explain those processes and procedures.  We find great variability in SEA approaches to supporting user requests, transparency of the process, data privacy and security, guidelines for use, and available data. Results are intended to launch a productive dialogue on these issues and promote more consistent and coherent policies that promote evidence-based decision-making, and, ultimately, stronger ties between research, policy, and practice in order to collectively improve educational opportunities and outcomes for all students.

Education Data Systems: A Systematic Look at State Practices Related to Researcher Access