New Report Provides Guide for Building Evidence to Improve Student Outcomes

Chiefs for Change
May 17, 2018

Chiefs for Change and Results for America today issued a report highlighting ways that state education Chiefs have expanded research efforts to study the impact of programs and initiatives focused on boosting student achievement. The report, “Evidence-Building Opportunities Under ESSA: How States Can and Should Generate Evidence to Drive Better Outcomes for Students,” serves as a guide for states and districts. It outlines evidence provisions in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and describes a range of policies, practices, tools, and partnerships states have created to better understand what works to help students learn.

“Our members are out front on this,” Chiefs for Change CEO Mike Magee explained. “They’re building in-house research teams, developing partnerships with research institutions, and creating processes that allow them to study everything from instructional materials to school choice policies to teacher prep programs.”

In particular, the report showcases innovative approaches developed by members of the Chiefs for Change network in states such as Louisiana, Tennessee, Nevada, New Mexico, and Ohio. Education agencies in those states are collecting and using data to inform continuous improvement and support a consistent focus on evidence-based practice.

“We are excited that more and more states and school districts all across the country are taking advantage of the requirements and opportunities within ESSA to use data and evidence to improve student outcomes,” said Michele Jolin, CEO and Co-Founder of Results for America. “We are particularly encouraged that a growing number of state education leaders—including several members of the Chiefs for Change network—are leading the way when it comes to building evidence about results-driven solutions that help students succeed.”

The report is designed as a resource for state education agencies and school districts at different levels of preparedness and capacity. Policymakers with questions about the strategies described in the report should please contact Margie Yeager, Chiefs for Change Director of Advocacy and Policy, at

About Chiefs for Change
Chiefs for Change is a nonprofit, bipartisan network of diverse state and district education Chiefs dedicated to preparing all students for today’s world and tomorrow’s through deeply committed leadership. Chiefs for Change advocates for policies and practices that are making a difference today for students, and builds a pipeline of talented, diverse Future Chiefs ready to lead major school systems.