Results for America helps state leaders accelerate their use of evidence and data when making budget, policy, and management decisions. Our mission is to make investing in what works the “new normal,” so that when policymakers at the state level make decisions, they start by seeking the best evidence and data available, then use what they find to get better results.

We do this by developing an annual Invest in What Works State Standard of Excellence; supporting policymakers through policy implementation; and mobilizing champions committed to investing in what works.

State Standard of Excellence
In August 2020, Results for America released the third Invest in What Works State Standard of Excellence which serves as a “north star” for how state governments can consistently and effectively use data and evidence in budget, policy, and management decisions to achieve better outcomes for their residents. In the 2020 Invest in What Works State Standard of Excellence, Results for America identified:

  • 169 leading and promising data-driven and evidence-based practices, policies, programs, and systems in effect in June 2020 in 35 states across the country.
  • Seven Leading States: Colorado, Connecticut, Minnesota, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, and Washington.
  • Honor Roll States: Massachusetts, North Carolina, Ohio, North Carolina, and Rhode Island.

The purpose of the 2020 Invest in What Works State Standard of Excellence is to inform policymakers and the public about state governments’ use of data, evidence, and evaluation to invest taxpayer dollars in what works. By identifying specific efforts currently underway in state governments, Results for America hopes to facilitate the broader adoption of evidence-based policymaking in state governments across the country. Individual State Spotlights provide governors offices and other state leaders with an easy way to compare how their state stacks up on its use of evidence and data. Each 2020 Leading State is featured in a state snapshot that summarizes each state’s outstanding leadership in evidence-based policymaking to improve outcomes in the health, child welfare, education, workforce, criminal justice, and economic mobility sectors.

Blueprint for Delivering Results in State Government
Results for America’s Blueprint for Delivering Results in State Government is designed to provide state government leaders with the information they need to incorporate evidence and data into their state’s most critical budget, policy, and management decisions. This Blueprint is an implementation guide for Results for America’s Invest in What Works State Standard of Excellence (State Standard of Excellence). The State Standard of Excellence sets a national benchmark for how state governments can use evidence and data to achieve improved outcomes for their residents, whereas the Blueprint for Delivering Results in State Government (Blueprint) provides state governments with specific implementation strategies and actions for consistently and effectively using evidence and data to get better results.

Results for America has a State Standard of Excellence Advisory Committee to help inform the State Standard of Excellence and the Blueprint and highlight the importance of evidence-based policy in state governments.

What Works Bootcamps
To help leading state governments to build their capacity to invest in what works, Results for America has partnered with the National Governors Association for a series of What Works Bootcamps for senior staff from governors’ offices.

State Policy Development and Implementation

K-12 Education Policy 
Results for America’s State Education Fellows program, founded in December 2017, is helping 24 state education agency officials from 12 leading states implement the new evidence provisions in ESSA to improve education outcomes for all their students. The fellowship is the first to bring together senior program and evaluation leaders from state education agencies into a single network focused on accelerating the generation and use of evidence. By supporting these innovative leaders who oversee states’ key education programs and evaluation efforts, Results for America is creating new champions in investing in what works and helping make evidence-based policymaking the new normal in education.

Since its launch, the State Education Fellowship has catalyzed significant and impactful shifts in policy and practice, including the successful redirection of hundreds of millions of dollars toward implementing, evaluating, and continuously improving evidence-based approaches to improving schools and student outcomes.

To support states and districts across the country, RFA released “Shifting Dollars to Improve Student Outcomes: Five Ways to Prioritize Evidence in State and Local Spending Decisions,” a roadmap states and school districts can use to guide local efforts to make evidence more central to their budgeting and spending decisions.

Workforce Development Policy
Results for America’s Evidence in Workforce Lab, launched in September 2019, features a State and Local Workforce Fellowship to help 23 data-driven state and local government leaders from seven leading states prioritize evidence and data to increasingly shift taxpayer dollars toward results-driven, evidence-based workforce solutions. Through extensive research and outreach, Results for America has developed 7 Ways to Improve Workforce Outcomes Using Evidence: 2019 Policy Roadmap for State & Local Officials identified seven key recommendations for driving government workforce funding toward evidence-based strategies as well as inspiring examples from state and local boards and agencies of these policy recommendations in action across the country.

The fellowship is the first to bring together senior workforce leaders from state and local workforce agencies into a single network focused on accelerating the generation and use of evidence. By supporting these innovative leaders, Results for America is creating new champions in investing in what works and helping make evidence-based policymaking the new normal in workforce development.