State Systems for Developing an Evidence Base Community of Practice

CoP Description: The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015 (ESSA), requires schools receiving federal funding to use evidence-based practices (EBPs) for particular programs described in Titles I, II, and IV of the ESEA. In addition, schools use evidence to drive needs assessment processes and monitor progress of school improvement interventions.

In 2018 and 2019, the State Support Network (Network) covened two Evidence-Based Practices CoPs to provide support to  state education agencies (SEAs) with crafting plans for implementing EBPs and building their capacity to support local education agencies (LEAs) in implementing EBPs. In this CoP, the Network explored State Systems for Developing an Evidence Base. This CoP focused on helping participating SEAs deepen their understanding of research design across the ESSA four tiers of evidence, develop approaches to district monitoring and evaluation, and build an evidence base.

The EBP CoP including four learning cycles on the following areas:

  • State Challenges in Implementing the Evidence Tier Requirements
  • Local Challenges in Selecting EBPs and State Support Responses
  • Supporting Local Evidence Use through the Continuous Improvement Process
  • Building the Evidence Base: Local and State Perspectives

CoP members learned to identify distinctions between and apply research designs associated with each ESSA evidence tier. Through discussion questions and activities using a peer consultancy protocol, CoP members shared ongoing local challenges in EBP implementation and collaborated as peer thought partners on developing solutions. Participants also learned about different approaches to developing an evidence base and different types of research partnerships.

Participating SEAs: Colorado, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Virginia, West Virginia

CoP Duration: February 2020 through April 2020