Office of Planning and Research

The How Do We Know Initiative

How do I build and share evidence?

It is essential that as part of implementation and decision-making, educators plan to build and share evidence regarding how interventions are working in your local context. Doing so will help you and other districts answer the questions: "How are we doing?" and "How do we know what's working?" It is essential to plan how you will measure outcome measures as part of your intervention implementation plan. To help prepare you to embark more knowledgeably on the design of both programs and evaluations, DESE has developed "How Do We Know" … if Our Program is Working? An Introduction to Program Design and Program Evaluation Download Word Document. This guide provides information and resources about program planning and evaluation. Specifically, the guide provides an overview of the major steps and considerations in program and evaluation design, including using logic models, to design programs and evaluations, along with additional resources for learning more.

The U.S. Department of Education's Non-Regulatory Guidance: Using Evidence to Strengthen Education Investments provides questions districts should consider about building and sharing evidence when determining how and whether interventions are working and whether they need to be modified. An adapted list of these questions follows.

About building and sharing evidence:

  • How will we know if we are successful?
  • What are interim progress and performance milestones that can be tracked?
  • What have participants (i.e., students and educators) in the intervention shared about their experience and how the intervention was implemented?
  • Should we evaluate the effectiveness of the intervention through a study that could produce strong evidence or moderate evidence, as defined by ESSA? Or would promising evidence from a correlational study or performance data that demonstrates a rationale suffice? What is the strength of the evidence required to monitor whether, how, and why your intervention was successful or not in your context?
  • How could evidence about this intervention be shared with others and incorporated into decision-making going forward?
  • Based on evidence, should this intervention continue as is, be modified, or be discontinued?

DESE will continue to update and expand this page to provide districts and schools with greater access to information about evidence-based practices from here in Massachusetts and nationwide. Please contact Kendra Winner with any suggestions or comments at (781) 338-3129 or kwinner@doe.mass.edu.

 
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