Educational Policy Of The United States ( U.s. ) Essay
Educational policy in the United States (U.S.) has made a strong demand for the use of research in educational practice. Employing scientifically-based research in educational decision making was prominent in the prior education policy, known as the “No Child Left Behind Act”, that became law on January 8, 2002 (Asen, Gurke, Solomon, Conners, & Gumm, 2011; Coburn, Penuel, & Geil, 2013). It continues to be evident under the new U.S. education policy referred to as the “Every Student Succeeds Act” that was passed into law on December 10, 2015. Across the 391 pages of this new law, the phrase “evidence-based” occurs 63 times and “research-based methods” – especially in reference to evaluations – are referred to 16 times.
In recent decades, there has been a considerable financial investment made to generate new scientific knowledge in educational research (Monsen & Woolfson, 2012; Tseng, 2012). However, less investment has been made to ensure this research is useful to the problems that practitioners face (Coburn et al., 2013). If research is designed to be practical, then whether the knowledge is accessible and interpretable by non-scientists remains in question. Thus, although many researchers hope their work will positively impact educational practice, this may be the exception (Monsen & Woolfson, 2012).
Although using evidence, broadly defined, is common in educational settings (Honig & Coburn, 2008), knowledge of whether and how educators learn and make…