School & District Management Opinion

How Educators and Researchers Can Work Together to Improve Schools: A Collection

Scholars and school administrators share their best advice on creating successful partnerships

Every January, Education Week blogger Rick Hess releases his RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings. In conjunction, Education Week Opinion takes a closer look at some of the data Hess uses for his rankings and explores a relevant issue in public scholarship. This year, Hess, in an essay co-authored with educator Mike Goldstein, asks whether researchers and education leaders can ever fulfill the promise of collaboration. Too often, Hess and Goldstein say, educators point to evidence as justification for their decisions rather than use evidence to inform them. For their own reasons, scholars go along with the charade.

To move past this devil’s bargain, some education leaders and researchers have formalized their relationships around specific aims, creating what are known as “research-practice partnerships.” But is this innovation really better at bridging the gap between research and practice than other arrangements? The authors of the other essays in this collection, all veterans of RPPs, believe it is, and they describe what it takes to make it successful.

Illustration of magnifying glass and school buildings.
James Steinberg for Education Week
School & District Management Opinion The Empty Pageantry of Education Research
Educators and researchers must do their homework to defeat perverse incentives, advise Rick Hess and Mike Goldstein.
Rick Hess & Mike Goldstein, January 18, 2022
5 min read
Illustration of woman using telescope.
School & District Management Opinion Don’t Let Education Research Languish in Academic Journals
How can we move research into the real world of schools? Scholar John Papay explains.
John Papay, January 18, 2022
3 min read
Illustration of coworkers analyzing data.
School & District Management Opinion Trust Keeps Our School-Research Relationship Alive in the Pandemic
An educator and a researcher describe how their team was able to nudge forward a plan for equity even as COVID changed almost everything.
Katherine Mortimer & Scott Gray, January 18, 2022
3 min read
Illustration of coworkers collaborating.
School & District Management Opinion What It Takes for Universities to Conduct Useful Education Research
Many institutions lack the resources to make research-school partnerships successful, warns Thomas S. Dee.
Thomas S. Dee, January 18, 2022
3 min read
conceptual illustration of scholar ranking process
Policy & Politics Opinion This Year’s Most Influential Education Scholars (in Charts)
Who are the top researchers? Where do they teach? What do they study?
January 18, 2022
1 min read