Innovation Studies

Program Staff

Program Directors

Nikola Filby
Neal Finkelstein

The Innovation Studies program helps educators and policymakers find promising ideas, understand how they work, put them into action, and evaluate the results. To do this, program staff partner on pilot projects, conduct formative evaluations, and communicate using technology and interactive media for knowledge transfer to educators and policymakers.

The program’s formative evaluations are designed to capture evidence of progress in the early stages of implementation of an initiative to inform mid-course changes and guide iterative cycles of development. Rigorous impact studies are carried out on more mature programs.

Recent projects focus on standards implementation, the role of teacher leaders in instructional improvement, strategies for strengthening the transition from high school into postsecondary education, and teacher preparation.

The Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) for the western states, REL West, is a companion to the Innovation Studies program. Through funding from the Institute of Education Sciences, REL West engages in research partnerships that use many of the same strategies to help partners use data and evidence in decision-making.