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Connecting Research and Policy to Reduce Inequality


"Why did the Coleman Report and the decades of education research that it influenced not result in greater reductions in educational inequality? What can be done to ensure that future education research is more effective in this respect? This paper describes the significant disconnect between education researchers and policymakers, characterized by three problems: (1) researchers do not inform policymakers about the results of their research, (2) policymakers do not inform researchers about their policy goals, and (3) when policymakers and researchers do exchange information, they often do so in a highly political context in which many interests supersede the interests of students. However, important changes since the Coleman Report have created a context more conducive to effective collaboration, including a nationwide movement among researchers, policymakers, and funders to create more meaningful and effective partnerships. These changes present a unique opportunity for improving the connection between research and policy and reducing educational inequities over the next fifty years."