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Evidence-Based Improvement: A Guide for States to Strengthen Their Frameworks and Supports Aligned to the Evidence Requirements of ESSA

By Sylvie Hale, Lenay Dunn, Nikola Filby, John Rice, Lori Van Houten


Click the download link to the left to download a complete PDF version of the guide and tools. Individual tools are available in MS Word format below.

One of the broad intents of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) is to encourage evidence-based decision-making as standard practice. This guide provides an initial set of tools to help states and school districts understand and plan for implementing evidence-based improvement strategies.

The following six tools are provided:

We welcome your feedback and suggestions, and encourage you to share your experiences and any modifications you make to the tools. We will incorporate your ideas and lessons learned in future versions of this guide, including additional tools.

Please send feedback and suggestions to Sylvie Hale, Senior Project Director, Innovation Studies.

Praise for this Resource

  • This guide honors varied perspectives as a collaborative effort for powerful and compelling school improvement…. The materials are user-friendly and easily modified for specific context (very important).  Extending capacity is possible with this guide and tools.

    Robyn Miller, Deputy Superintendent for Educator Effectiveness and Policy Research, Oklahoma State Department of Education