Practical evaluation points the way toward impact

By Rebecca Taylor-Perryman, Ariana Audisio and Laura Meili
Categories: Collaboration, Data, Evaluation & impact
February 2024
As U.S. school leaders anticipate the end of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief funds and contemplate possible budget shortfalls, they will have to make hard choices about how best to leverage limited resources to improve student outcomes. With the stakes high, lawmakers and experts urge school system leaders to rely on research and program evaluation to guide decisions. Unfortunately, high-quality research that demonstrates positive outcomes and aligns with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) evidence standards (U.S. Department of Education, 2023) is rare for many types of educational interventions, including professional learning.  Evaluations by external researchers are expensive and often take multiple years to complete. For small organizations or districts, the investment may not be feasible. Even where studies of educational interventions do exist,

Read the remaining content with membership access. Join or log in below to continue.

Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis et quasi architecto beatae vitae dicta sunt explicabo. Nemo enim ipsam voluptatem quia voluptas sit aspernatur aut odit aut fugit, sed quia consequuntur magni dolores eos qui ratione voluptatem sequi nesciunt. Neque porro quisquam est, qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit, sed quia non numquam eius modi tempora incidunt ut labore et dolore magnam aliquam quaerat voluptatem.

Log In


Angrist, J.D. & Pischke, J.S. (2009). Mostly harmless econometrics: An empiricist’s companion. Princeton University Press.

Audisio, A., Taylor-Perryman, R., Tasker, T., & Steinberg, M.P. (2023). Does teacher professional development improve student learning? Evidence from Leading Educators’ fellowship model. (EdWorkingPaper: 22-597). Annenberg Institute at Brown University.

Boulay, B., Goodson, B., Olsen, R., McCormick, R., Darrow, C., Frye, M., … & Sarna, M. (2018). The Investing in Innovation Fund: Summary of 67 evaluations. Final report. (NCEE 2018-4013). National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance.

Hirschboeck, K. & Takahashi, S. (n.d.) What we’re learning: Using practical measures to support school improvement initiatives. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Mihaly, K., Opper, I.M., & Greer, L. (2022). The impact and implementation of the Chicago Collaborative teacher professional development program. RAND Corporation.

National Center for Education Statistics. (2023). Reading and mathematics scores decline during COVID-19 pandemic.

Pimentel, S.D., Page, L.C., & Keele, L. (2023). An overview of optimal multilevel matching using network flows with the matchMulti package in R*.

Roth, K.J., Wilson, C.D., Taylor, J.A., Stuhlsatz, M.A., & Hvidsten, C. (2019). Comparing the effects of analysis-of-practice and content-based professional development on teacher and student outcomes in science. American Educational Research Journal, 56(4), 1217-1253.

U.S. Department of Education. (2023). Non-regulatory guidance: Using evidence to strengthen education investments. Author.

Rebecca taylor perryman
+ posts

Rebecca Taylor-Perryman ( is the managing director of data and evaluation at Leading Educators.

+ posts
Laura meili
+ posts

Laura Meili ( is the chief impact officer at Leading Educators.

Categories: Collaboration, Data, Evaluation & impact

The Learning Professional

Published Date


  • Recent Issues

    December 2023

    Professional learning can open up new roles and challenges and help...

    October 2023

    Both special education and general education teachers need support to help...

    August 2023

    Prioritizing professional learning time is an investment in educators and...

    June 2023

    Acceleration aims to ensure all students overcome learning gaps to do...

    Skip to content