Evidence-Based Improvement: A Guide to the Evidence Requirements of ESSA

One of the broad intents of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is to encourage evidence-based decision-making as standard practice. This new, free publication from WestEd, Evidence-Based Improvement: A Guide for States to Strengthen their Frameworks and Supports Aligned to the Evidence Requirements of ESSA, provides an initial set of tools to help states and school districts understand and plan for implementing evidence-based improvement strategies. The downloadable guide is provided in a complete PDF version, or as individual tools in MS Word Format.  

The following six tools are provided:

  • SEA Inventory of Current Practice guides a state education agency (SEA) to take stock of its current continuous improvement practice, especially around evidence-based decision-making.
  • LEA Inventory of Current Practice is similar to the above tool, but designed for local education agencies (LEAs).
  • SEA Guidance for Evidence-Based Interventions helps a state to reflect on how it will provide guidance to LEAs on evidence-based interventions.
  • LEA Guidance for Evidence-Based Interventions is similar to the tool above, but designed for LEAs.
  • Intervention Evidence Review guides the review and comparison of interventions that target an identified need.
  • Comparing Evidence-Based Interventions guides the determination about the degree to which a particular intervention aligns with a given context.

To access the tools, see:



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