April 28, 2016

Holly Yettick, (303) 803-2061, hyettick@epe.org
Daniel J. Quinn, (517) 203-2940, dquinn@greatlakescenter.org

Five Key Steps To Reading And Understanding Education Policy Research

EAST LANSING, Mich. (Apr. 28, 2016) – As part of Research-Based Options for Education Policymaking, a multipart brief that takes up a number of important policy issues, Holly Yettick, Ph.D. provides a single-page brief to identify tips for recognizing higher-quality research studies and making better use of education policy research.

Readers of education policy research are often given conflicting information regarding the quality of research studies. There are myriad reasons to be cautious about research findings. However, important questions remain, including: (1) what is high-quality research?; and (2) what should readers look for to identify higher-quality studies?

Yettick, director of the Education Week Research Center, provides five simple steps to improve the reading of education policy research. These topics include:

  1. The importance of peer-review;
  2. Prioritizing research reviews over standalone studies;
  3. "P values" and statistical significance;
  4. Effect sizes; and
  5. Research applicability.

She states: "When readers heed basic cautions, research can provide valuable guidance that helps them learn from past experiences rather than reinventing the wheel by repeatedly re-introducing policies and practices that have failed in the past."

Find the concise brief on the GLC website:

This concise brief 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.

This brief is also found on the NEPC website at:

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The mission of the Great Lakes Center for Education Research & Practice is to support and disseminate high quality research and reviews of research for the purpose of informing education policy and to develop research-based resources for use by those who advocate for education reform.

Visit the Great Lakes Center website at http://www.greatlakescenter.org/