Year 6 Project Overview: Regional Evidence-Based Policy and Practice

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires states and districts to use the best evidence available to design and deliver interventions for low-performing schools. To date, state efforts to support districts in the use of evidence-based practices and interventions is quite limited and varied in approaches. This juncture serves as an opportunity to recommit to the use of evidence and the development of processes that aid in its selection, use, and evaluation. With growing need and interest, states have greater autonomy to act and design systems that make sense for them, yet have little guidance or many successful practices to learn from.

The Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE) and New York State Education Department (NYSED) have requested assistance from NCC to design a system and resources for districts that will both meet the standards for evidence-based interventions and will be useful for districts to address needs in their low-performing schools. NCC will facilitate a backward mapping process with CSDE and NYSED to set forth both the content and features of resources that the NCC will assist the states in developing.

NCC will provide intensive support at the individual state level in the region, beginning with New York and Connecticut, through the use of common facilitated planning tools. Facilitated planning will allow states to investigate and clarify the why and how of evidence-based policies and practices outlined in their respective state plans. By backward mapping and putting themselves in the place of the local districts and schools that they serve, states will come to a revised understanding of policies, procedures, and supports needed at the state level. A subsequent regional exchange will allow states to share ideas and receive feedback as they work through the 2017-2018 school year, which will be a startup year around evidence-based for many states, as they prepare the field for the initial year of Targeted School Improvement (TSI) and Comprehensive School Improvement (CSI) school identifications in 2018-2019. The result of the combined state and regional level support will be revised and updated thinking around the goals of state evidence-based systems, and updated processes and procedures, building off the federal requirements, to achieve this.

With NCC assistance, CSDE and NYSED will have: 1) designed/revised an evidence-based system that recognizes and reflects the needs and abilities of districts and schools; 2) built capacity to support districts and schools in better understanding evidence-based interventions, including their selection, implementation, and evaluation; and 3) established networks and relationships with each other around evidence-based intervention systems.

Progress to Date

  • NCC conducted an assessment of strengths and areas for improvement in each state, which will guide NCC’s assistance moving forward.

Research, Resources and Collaborations

Strategically timed regional exchanges will allow states to share ideas and receive feedback as they work through the 2017-2018 school year and prepare the field for TSI/CSI school identifications in 2018-2019. Included in the internal NCC team supporting the use of evidence-based practices is the NCC liaison for Rhode Island as they are also working to develop resources to support the use of evidence-based practices. Rhode Island will be invited to participate in regional exchanges and NCC will assist them in determining fit and capacity to do so. The result of the combined state and regional level support will be revised and updated thinking around the goals of state evidence-based systems, and updated processes and procedures, building off the federal requirements, to achieve this.

Several resources are being used by NCC to identify evidence-based resources that meet states needs, including the What Works Clearinghouse.

Contact Person

For more information, contact Jack Schwarz at jschwarz@northeastcompcenter.org.

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