Measuring opportunity: Redirecting education policy through research

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While scholars develop research with clear implications for policy and practice, this work has been largely ineffective in influencing thought beyond the academy. In this article, we explore challenges researchers face in designing public scholarship to influence policy. To illustrate, we profile one such effort, the “Opportunity to Learn Index,” a national project designed to compare opportunities to learn in all 50 states, and we detail challenges related to method, analysis and presentation. This type of effort, we conclude, asks researchers to embrace unique challenges and the inescapably political nature of the knowledge enterprise, especially when engaging with non-researcher audiences.


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How to Cite
Pfleger, R. H., Wilson, T. S., Welner, K. G., & Bibilos, C. (2018). Measuring opportunity: Redirecting education policy through research. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 26, 73.
Author Biographies

Ryan H. Pfleger, Newark Public Schools

Ryan Pfleger is a researcher at Newark Public Schools, New Jersey, where he began as a Strategic Data Project Fellow with the Center for Education Policy Research at Harvard University. His research explores the connections between economic, racial, and educational inequality.

Terri S. Wilson, University of Colorado Boulder

Terri S. Wilson is an assistant professor in the School of Education at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her research focuses on the philosophical foundations of education policy, including issues raised by school choice, marketization, and parent engagement.

Kevin G. Welner, University of Colorado Boulder

Kevin Welner is a professor in the School of Education at the University of Colorado Boulder, specializing in educational policy. He is director of the National Education Policy Center, housed at CU Boulder.

Charles Bibilos

Charles Bibilos has nearly 20 years of experience as a teacher, curriculum developer, and education policy consultant. He holds an M.A. in Education from the University of Colorado Boulder.