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The Harvard Family Research Project separated from the Harvard Graduate School of Education to become the Global Family Research Project as of January 1, 2017. It is no longer affiliated with Harvard University.

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From the Director's Desk

An introduction to the issue on Evaluating Education Reform by HFRP's Founder & Director, Heather B. Weiss, Ed.D.

Theory & Practice

Beyond Input: Achieving Authentic Participation in School Reform

M. Elena Lopez and Holly Kreider of HFRP present a framework of authentic parent participation in school reform and its implications for evaluation.

Promising Practices

Avoiding Unwarranted Death by Evaluation

Lois-ellin Datta of Datta Analysis points to the importance of studying control and comparison group experiences when conducting experimental studies.

Promising Practices

Youth Reframe Questions of Educational Justice Through Participatory Action Research

María Elena Torre and Michelle Fine describe the process and potential of participatory action research with youth researchers to investigate race, ethnicity, class, and opportunity gaps in education.

Promising Practices

Using a Framework Approach to Improve Youth Participation in Informal Learning

Megan Beckett, Sandy Berry, and Kristin Leuschner of RAND Corporation describe a framework approach for transforming research findings into a practical tool for policymakers, parents, and practitioners.

Questions & Answers

A Conversation With Wendy Puriefoy

Wendy Puriefoy is President of Public Education Network (PEN). She spoke with HFRP about standards-based reform, its evaluation, communicating about it to the public, and the No Child Left Behind Act.


Reframing Accountability for Urban Public Schools

Based on their research with community-organizing groups, Eva Gold and Elaine Simon from Research for Action and Chris Brown from the Cross City Campaign for Urban School Reform describe four strategies for building public accountability for education.

Special Report

The Evaluation Exchange Special Report on Scientifically Based Research

This special report offers commentaries from experts on the challenges and opportunities presented by the current federal policy’s emphasis on scientifically based research for the practice and evaluation of education reform.

Beyond Basic Training

How Schools of Education Can Strengthen Education Reform

Ellen Condliffe Lagemann, Dean at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and leading education historian, speaks to the role of schools of education in preparing future researchers and in contributing to the public discourse on education.

Beyond Basic Training

“Cooking With Data” to Target Education Gaps

Craig Jerald of the Education Trust describes several basic ways of analyzing data to reveal a more complete picture of what education offers different groups of students.

Evaluations to Watch

Balancing Priorities in the Evaluation of Educational Technology

Education reform policies place new emphasis on educational technology. Katherine McMillan Culp and Margaret Honey from the Center for Children and Technology have learned the importance of research rigor and local validity in their evaluations of educational technology.

Evaluations to Watch

Designing Evaluations to Match Program Development

E. Kinney Zalesne reveals how College Summit since its inception has used evaluation techniques that correspond to the different stages of the program’s development.

Evaluations to Watch

Flexibility and Feedback in a Formative Evaluation

Marjorie Weschler of SRI and Jane David of the Bay Area Research Group describe the importance of flexibility and feedback in conducting formative evaluation.

New & Noteworthy

This section features an annotated list of papers, organizations, initiatives, and other resources related to the issue's theme of Evaluating Education Reform.

This issue of The Evaluation Exchange was published by Harvard Family Research Project, edited by Holly Kreider, Project Manager, and produced by Stacey Miller, Publications/Communications Manager. All rights reserved. This periodical may not be reproduced whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. To request reprint permission, email

Harvard Family Research Project gratefully acknowledges the support of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The contents of this publication are solely the responsibility of Harvard Family Research Project and do not necessarily reflect the view of our funders.

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© 2016 Presidents and Fellows of Harvard College
Published by Harvard Family Research Project