Focus on Washington State
Building on the notion that policymakers are more likely to take research seriously if it is based on data that is “close to home,” CEDR focuses particular attention on Washington State. This may, at times, be reflective of the parochial nature of the policymaking process, but it is also true that working within a well-known context facilitates a more thorough understanding of the potential explanations for empirical findings and their importance. CEDR seeks to build capacity in Washington State that will help reach the goal of improving achievement levels of all its students.
The promise of well-designed and rigorous research that can help policymakers develop serious answers to the aspirations and challenges surrounding Washington’s youth depends on assembling and analyzing the scattered bits and pieces of information often already being collected. Working close to home, CEDR will have the ability to identify the pressing education policy issues, interact with policymakers and practitioners who are on the ground, and weigh in with research that facilitates empirically driven decisions. Washington State will learn more about what policies and practices works for its children while moving towards an evidenced-based practice, and school systems around the country will also learn from the work conducted in Washington.
CEDR has a number of recent or ongoing studies that focus on Washington State, utilize Washington State data, and contribute to debates over Washington’s educational policies or the use of its educational resources.