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Resource roundup: Tools for meeting Every Student Succeeds Act evidence requirements

Resource roundup: Tools for meeting Every Student Succeeds Act evidence requirements

By Cora Goldston
August 21, 2019

Update, October 2019: For more on ESSA’s evidence requirements, see REL Midwest’s new video detailing the ESSA tiers of evidence and how schools and districts can use them to rate an intervention’s potential to improve student outcomes.

Over the summer, schools and districts are finalizing the programs and practices they will use in the 2019/20 school year. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plays a large role in this process, encouraging school and district leaders to choose evidence-based interventions that have been rigorously studied and shown to improve student learning. To assist with this process, Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest rounded up resources from across the REL network to help educators better understand the ESSA tiers of evidence and how to identify practices aligned with them.

Research partnerships on using research evidence

One of the REL network’s main goals is to increase the use of research-based practices within schools, districts, and state education agencies. Here are a few examples of REL research partnerships that focus on research use:

ESSA tiers of evidence

  • REL Appalachia’s December 2018 conference session walked through the ESSA tiers of evidence and offered participants the chance to practice applying the tiers to research. Check out the archived presentation, activity on applying ESSA tiers, and additional resources.
  • REL Midwest worked with the Ohio Department of Education to crosswalk the ESSA tiers of evidence with the standards for established research clearinghouses. You can browse the crosswalk [200 KB PDF icon ] and read our blog post to learn more about the work.
  • Check out REL Southeast’s archived presentation on the ESSA tiers of evidence and what qualifies as strong evidence, the most rigorous evidence tier under ESSA.

Identifying and implementing evidence-based practices under ESSA

  • Did you know that the Ohio Department of Education is developing a clearinghouse of evidence-based practices that districts can use for school improvement? Read REL Midwest’s blog post to learn more about Ohio’s Empowered by Evidence initiative, which includes the clearinghouse.
  • Don’t miss REL Southeast’s training materials on how to identify research-based practices and programs using the ESSA tiers.
  • The Oklahoma State Department of Education has created a rubric to help schools and districts choose school improvement models that align with the ESSA tiers of evidence. To learn more, read REL Southwest’s blog post on the rubric and supports for ESSA implementation.
  • How can your state implement evidence-based practices to meet your strategic goals? REL West’s video workshop can help you get started. Then, check out the companion facilitator’s guide [171 KB PDF icon ] to share the workshop with your colleagues.
  • This REL West audio interview highlights how the Arizona Department of Education is creating ESSA implementation supports for districts and strengthening connections between state and local education agency staff.

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Author information

Cora Goldston Staff Picture

Cora Goldston

Communications Specialist | REL Midwest


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