Translating research to practice should be a central organizing concept for education reform efforts at all levels, and federal support for this idea through the new IES research topic on continuous improvement research in education will increase the government’s effectiveness in addressing critical national problems in education.
Knowledge Alliance is pleased that this research topic is focused on the end user, and will help build capacity among research users to implement and sustain strategies and innovations beyond the work of researchers. Research should be influenced by practitioners from the beginning to ensure successful results throughout the research and implementation process. Knowledge Alliance knows that even the most cutting edge practices, built on high-quality research and proven through rigorous testing, will have little measureable impact on teaching and learning if not properly implemented.
Partnerships are key to any reform effort, and Knowledge Alliance supports the requirement that work should be collaborative and include established partnerships between researchers and practitioners. IES has already begun building a network of partnerships through the Regional Educational Laboratories and their research alliances with states, districts, and researchers. These types of partnerships will lend themselves well to the new research topic both during the research process, and during implementation phases.