For Better Schools, Start With the Evidence

Photograph by Mary F. Calvert/Zuma Press/MCT via Getty Images

Presumably, we’d like to think that most government regulations begin with a firm grounding in evidence that they’d have the intended result. After all, U.S. federal regulations must undergo a cost-benefit analysis to determine that they make economic sense, and the opinions of Congressional Budget Office analysts on the fiscal impact of reforms can help sway opinions. Even so, most policy changes in America and worldwide are based on ideology rather than strong evidence of what works.

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