In a review of important 2017 releases, MDRC recently referenced a memo to policymakers with recommendations for increasing research use and applying evidence to all policy decisions, both educational and otherwise.
- Programmes and policies should be independently evaluated. To ensure high-quality evaluations, they should be directly relevant to policy, free of political or other influences and credible to subjects and consumers.
- The government should provide incentives for programmes to apply evidence results to improve their performance.
- Utilise a tiered evidence strategy, such as is used in the Every Student Succeeds Act, to set clear guidelines for standards.
- Existing funding sources should be applied to generate evidence. A 1% set-aside was recommended.
- Federal and state agencies should be allowed to access and share their data for evaluation purposes.
Source: Putting evidence at the heart of making policy (February 2017), MDRC