Where Do Educators Turn to Address Instructional and Behavior Challenges?
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Teachers and school leaders frequently make decisions about which strategies will best support students who struggle academically or behaviorally, but evidence-based information about the quality of these strategies is not always available. Moreover, educators do not always find the available evidence to be useful, and they consider a variety of other factors to be relevant to these decisions. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) provides new opportunities to use federal funds to support interventions (i.e., programs, practices, or strategies) that address not only academic achievement but also students' social, emotional, and behavioral needs. Several ESSA funding streams require that interventions be supported by research evidence and by an assessment of local context and the specific needs of students. Such resources as the What Works Clearinghouse and the Regional Education Laboratories can help educators identify relevant evidence, but education leaders and policymakers need to understand which sources educators turn to and on what basis they select interventions. Recent survey data from the RAND Corporation's American Educator Panels can inform our understanding of where educators find information to inform their academic and nonacademic strategies — from peers, leaders, the internet, or from other sources. These data also shed light on the considerations that educators prioritize when making decisions about interventions.