2018 State Standard of Excellence

7. Evaluation Policies

Did the state or any of its agencies have an evaluation policy, evaluation plan, and research/learning agenda(s) and did it publicly release the findings of all completed evaluations?

Why is this important?
Evaluation policies provide a useful way for state governments to align their evaluation and research priorities, learn about what works, and share information with outside researchers about additional areas where they want to increase their knowledge base.

Leading Example

Massachusetts Outline


Single agency

Promising Examples


Multiple agencies

In 2016, the Kentucky Center for Education and Workforce Statistics released a research agenda covering the period from 2017 to 2019. The agenda includes four primary research areas related to education and workforce pathways: (1) expanding data to inform education and workforce decisions, (2) evaluating outcomes of education and workforce programs over time, (3) connecting supply and demand of the state’s future workforce, and (4) generating data about out-of-state workforce migration.


Single agency

In 2016, the Tennessee Department of Education established the Tennessee Education Research Alliance, a formal research partnership with Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education. Led by seven full-time staff and guided by a steering committee and advisory council, the department and the university have codeveloped a research agenda that builds a body of knowledge to better position the state to make data-driven and evidence-based decisions. The alliance conducts independent studies and directs external research to provide relevant and timely information to state policymakers across a variety of topical areas, including early reading, professional learning, school improvement, and educator workforce.


Multiple agencies

The following Virginia agencies have released research agendas for questions they are seeking to answer using data from the Virginia Longitudinal Data System: Virginia Department of Education, State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, Virginia Department of Social Services, Virginia Community College System, Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services, Virginia Department of Health Professions, and Virginia Employment Commission.