The American Youth Policy Forum will be hosting a series of Capitol Hill forums designed to challenge participants to think differently about how research informs policy and practice. The demand for research-based practices in education and youth development has increased over time as access to rich and rigorous data has become available. The No Child Left Behind Act and other legislation have gone as far as to mandate the use of practices supported by research and billions of dollars are spent on research in the social sciences—yet much of this high-quality research has not made it into the hands of practitioners working to improve our nation's schools. There is an emerging body of evidence arguing that simply conducting rigorous research is not nearly enough. Diverse education stakeholders define, access, interpret, and use research very differently. We must target research to the needs of specific stakeholders and encourage collaboration among researchers, policymakers, and practitioners to ensure that research is able to inform policy and practice.
At this forum, presenters will discuss how research has been used in schools and districts. Researchers Alan J. Daly, University of California, San Diego and Kara S. Finnigan, University of Rochester, will discuss how educators define, use and diffuse research evidence and the importance of social networks in mediating and disseminating evidence. Superintendent Joshua Starr of Montgomery County Public Schools and Ron Rode, the Executive Director of Accountability in San Diego Unified School District, will discuss how this research is being used to support policy and practice in their districts, as well as the larger policy context.
This forum is part of a series of events showcasing a body of work supported by the W.T. Grant Foundation that examines how research is being used in state and local education agencies and in the development of the Common Core State Standards.