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Research-Based Options

Research-Based Options for Education Policymaking is a multipart brief that takes up a number of important policy issues and identifies policies supported by research. Each section focuses on a different issue, and its recommendations to policymakers are based on the latest scholarship. Research-Based Options for Education Policymaking is published by The National Education Policy Center, housed at the University of Colorado Boulder, and is made possible in part by funding from the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.

Title: Research-Based Options for Education Policymaking:
2015-16 Collection
Date: August 2016
Author:

William J. Mathis, University of Colorado Boulder; with Kevin G. Welner, University of Colorado Boulder, & Holly Yettick, Education Week Research Center

Link(s):

The research behind such important educational policy issues as: (1) school and teacher accountability; (2) the deprofessionalization of teachers; (3) choice policies and school segregation; (4) "portfolio" school districts; (5) housing policies; (6) equity-based education reforms; (7) why money matters in education; (8) charter school accountability; and (9) class size reductions are investigated in a multipart brief written and edited by William J. Mathis, managing director of the National Education Policy Center (NEPC). The multipart brief also includes an infographic with recommendations for better reading of quantitative policy research, and a short, concise brief on the use of qualitative research for education policymaking. Also contributing to the brief were Kevin G. Welner, director of NEPC, and Holly Yettick, director of the Education Week Research Center.


1 In School Accountability, Multiple Measures and Inspectorates in a Post-NCLB World, William J. Mathis concludes, no evaluation system by itself is capable of overcoming the deficiencies of a school or community lacking resources. According to William J. Mathis, the only way for school evaluation systems to succeed are “with all around accountability.”
  Press Release Link name= Policy Brief
2 In Reversing the Deprofessionalization of Teaching, William Mathis and Kevin Welner describe today’s deprofessionalization pressures and the resulting easy-entry, easy-exit approach to the hiring and firing of teachers. It also offers policy options to address some of the damage currently being done and restore teaching as a profession.
  Press Release Link name= Policy Brief
3

In Do Choice Policies Segregate Schools?, William J. Mathis and Kevin Welner investigate the research evidence of choice policies and their impact on segregation in schools. The short, concise brief offers policy options to advance desegregation in order to provide equal educational opportunities for all students.

  Press Release Link name= Policy Brief
4

In The “Portfolio” Approach to School District Governance, William J. Mathis and Kevin Welner discuss the research evidence associated with four reforms associated with “portfolio” management. After investigating the available research on these portfolio-related strategies, the authors concluded that there is little promise of meaningful benefits associated with the governance changes. Nevertheless, the authors provide a series of equity-focused recommendations that districts could adopt in a “portfolio” model.

  Press Release Link name= Policy Brief
5a

In Five Simple Steps to Reading Policy Research, Holly Yettick provides five simple steps to reading policy research. The one-page brief offers advice for readers seeking to better utilize education research for policymaking.

  Press Release Link name= Policy Brief
5b

In Reading Qualitative Educational Policy Research, William J. Mathis provides five questions to improve reading qualitative educational policy research. The concise brief offers advice for readers seeking to better understand and utilize qualitative studies.

  Press Release Link name= Policy Brief
6

In Housing Policy, Kevin Welner and William Mathis investigate the interdependent relationship of: (1) school improvement policies; (2) school choice policies; (3) school desegregation policies; (4) wealth-focused policies; and (5) housing-focused policies. The brief offers recommendations for addressing segregation.

  Press Release Link name= Policy Brief
7

In The Purpose of Education: Truing the Balance Wheel, William Mathis investigates Horace Mann’s ideal of education as the “great equalizer of the conditions of men.” Mathis recommends that in order to true the balance wheel (as Mann desired), both in-school and out-of-school factors need to be addressed.

  Press Release Link name= Policy Brief
8

In Does Money Matter?, William J. Mathis considers how and why money matters in education. He concludes that despite claims to the contrary, adequate and equitable funding is necessary for schools to improve their performance – especially schools serving children living in poverty.

  Press Release Link name= Policy Brief
9

In The Effectiveness of Class Size Reduction, William J. Mathis, University of Colorado Boulder, addresses why class size matters. According to Mathis, smaller class sizes improve student outcomes, especially for low-income and minority children.

  Press Release Link name= Policy Brief
10

As part of Research-Based Options for Education Policymaking, a multipart brief that takes up a number of important policy issues, William J. Mathis examines charter school accountability. Mathis finds that despite the premise of market-based accountability, charter schools are not sufficiently being held accountable or regulated.

  Press Release Link name= Policy Brief