On Our Radar - February 22

Great resources and ideas from around the web, updated weekly.

  • The Next Big Leap for Research-Practice Partnerships: Building and Testing Theories to Improve Research Use via the William T. Grant Foundation: Vivian Tseng argues that it’s time for Research-Practice Partnerships to turn their focus from evidence production to evidence use, which requires a clearer theory of how research actually informs policy (or doesn’t).
  • The Opportunity Project via the Department of Commerce: This collaboration by government, technology, and local leaders and nonprofits has produced online tools designed to do everything from helping homeless youth find services in Washington, DC (Myspot) to showing how physical activity is correlated with common health issues in each state (Fitbit Activity Index).
  • Digest of Education Statistics 2016 via IES: Among other trends, the new Digest reports that enrollment in 2- and 4-year colleges and universities increased by 10% between 2005 and 2010 -- then decreased by 5% between 2010 and 2015.
  • An Unexpectedly Positive Result From Arts-Focused Field Trips via the Brookings Institution (h/t Eduwonk): Jay Greene uses a surprising association between arts-focused field trips and test results in ELA and math to highlight how researchers faced with unanticipated findings face “pressure to adopt a theory post-hoc and claim they expected the result all along.”
  • Engaging Parents Through Technology Improves Academic Outcomes via J-PAL North America: A new randomized study indicates that texting parents about their child’s assignments, absences, and low grades can reduce course failure and dropout rates and increase attendance and GPA.