Using Evidence to Strengthen Education Investments
This is the time of year when all of our districts are putting the final touches on their Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAP) prior to board approval. Every Student Succeeds Act (ESEA) along with the Local Control Accountability Act (LCFF) in California, emphasize the use of evidence-based activities, strategies and interventions to improve outcomes for students. There are a few considerations when it comes to choosing and implementing these interventions. The U.S. Department of Education (Department) published guidance on this topic in September of 2016.
The Department defines five important steps, that when taken together, promote a continuous improvement process to strengthen the effectiveness of these educational investments. Though briefly outlined below, I encourage you to critically read through the “questions to consider” in the report to help you in this work.
Five Steps to Strengthen Effectiveness
- Identify Local Needs
- Engage stakeholders in meaningful consultation
- Consider potential root causes
- Prioritize needs
- Select Relevant, Evidence-Based Interventions
- Assess local capacity to implement intervention
- Look for interventions supported by “strong evidence or moderate evidence” – a recommended resource is What Works Clearinghouse
- How will effectiveness be measured locally?
- Plan for implementation
- Define measurable goals
- Outline roles and responsibilities for all involved
- Establish strategies to monitor performance and execution
- Collect information on implementation – adjust as needed
- Examine and Reflect
- Monitor performance against identified targets and goals
- Determine if it is having impact on relevant outcomes
Executive Director, Educational Support Services
San Luis Obispo County Office of Education