Resources to Support EBP Step 2: Select Relevant EBPs

The following resources offer catalogs of interventions that states and districts could consider to m eet identified needs.  Some resources are organized specifically around ESSA evidence tiers, some go beyond school-based interventions; some offer information on populations served by different interventions and other additional information.

Guides for Identifying Evidence-Based Interventions for School Improvement (link is external)

The Florida Center for Reading Research has developed guides for states and districts on identifying evidence-based interventions for school improvement.  These guides provide tools for facilitating a self-study process to find interventions that are most relevant and appropriate based on need, with the strongest evidence base possible.

What Works Clearinghouse (Find What Works)

The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) was established in 2002 by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) within the U.S. Department of Education. The WWC website provides searchable reviews of existing research in a wide variety of areas such as mathematics, literacy, and science, dropout prevention, teacher excellence, and working with English language learners, among others.  The following features and products on the website help users:” and then list these bullets:

  • The “Find What Works” tool allows users to easily search for studies by topic area, such as math or science, to find studies where there is evidence of positive effects. 
  • The “Students Like Yours” Feature of “Find What Works” allows users to specify characteristics of their students, to better identify what research has been conducted on similar populations. To access this feature, select a topic on the “Find What Works” page and click the green button on the top left that says “Find Research With Students Like Yours.” 
  • A series of online training videos designed to help a variety of audiences — including SEAs and LEAs — help users learn more about WWC standards and how they relate to ESSA’s definitions of evidence from well-designed, well-implemented experimental studies and well-designed, well-implemented quasi-experimental studies.

Evidence Resources from the Regional Education Laboratories (RELs)

The RELs’ mission is to provide states and districts with technical support for undertaking applied research and for using research to improve education programs and student achievement.  Section 8549 of ESSA says that the RELs shall provide technical assistance to requesting states and local education agencies in meeting the ESSA evidence requirements.  The RELs are helping states and districts determine whether interventions and practices meet various ESSA evidence levels and are helping these stakeholders use research and evidence as they make programmatic and policy decisions.  Stakeholders can find contact information for their REL at

Evidence for ESSA (link is external) (launched February 28, 2017)

This searchable website, developed by researchers at the Center for Research and Reform in Education (CRRE) at Johns Hopkins University, reviews math and reading programs for grades K to 12 to determine which meet the strong, moderate, or promising levels of evidence defined in ESSA (additional subject areas will be added later). The site provides a one-page summary of each program including a program description, brief research review, and information on costs, professional development, technology requirements, etc. It will indicate with which populations interventions have been successful if available from evaluations, and in the future it will provide implementation advice from program users and developers as well a list of ambassador schools.  A companion website by CRRE called the Best Evidence Encyclopedia (link is external) also reviews research, though not specifically using ESSA evidence criteria.

Results First Clearinghouse Database (link is external)

This one-stop online resource developed through a partnership of the Pew Charitable Trusts and other organizations provides an easy way to find information on the effectiveness of various interventions as rated by eight national research clearinghouses, including education and related topics. The database applies a uniform color-coding system to the clearinghouses’ ratings, allowing users to quickly assess where each intervention falls on a spectrum from highest rated (green) to negative effects (red). Clearinghouses included:

  • Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development, Child welfare and juvenile justice
  • California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare, Child welfare
  • Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy, Social policy
  •, Criminal justice
  • National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practice, Substance abuse and mental health
  • Promising Practices Network, Child welfare, juvenile justice, and social programs
  • What Works Clearinghouse, Education
  • What Works in Reentry Clearinghouse, Criminal justice

Subject-Specific Interventions

School Leadership Interventions Under the Every Student Succeeds Act: An Evidence Review (link is external)

This report authored by the RAND Corporation synthesizes the research base with respect to ESSA standards and school leadership interventions. The report describes how ESSA provisions support school leadership improvement, clarifies the ESSA definition of “evidence-based” and outlines the evidence requirements under ESSA for different funding streams, and classifies school leadership improvement activities based on the level of evidence available.

Using Evidence to Create Next Generation High Schools

This document from the U.S. Department of Education highlights six general evidence-based strategies to improve high schools. Reviewed strategies for enhancing students’ high school and college outcomes include: 1) participation in rigorous curriculum; 2) small learning communities/small schools of choice; 3) career academies; 4) dual enrollment; 5) early college high schools; and 6) college and career counseling.