December 3, 2015 Press Releases

Michele Jolin on Evidence-Based Policy Provisions in ESSA: a “Game Changer” for Federal Education Funding

RFA CEO and Co-Founder Michele Jolin Praises Bipartisan Provisions Designed to Improve Education Outcomes that Could Shift more than $2 billion in Federal Education Funds Toward Evidence-Based Solutions Each Year

WASHINGTON – Today, after the U.S. House of Representatives passed S. 1177, the Every Student Succeeds Act which would reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), by a bipartisan vote of 359-64, Results for America CEO and Co-Founder Michele Jolin issued the following statement.

“The emphasis on evidence in the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act is a game changer for Federal education funding. By encouraging states, local school districts, and individual schools to shift more than $2 billion annually towards what works, this bill will help improve outcomes for our nation’s young people and is an example of what it looks like when government plays Moneyball,” said Michele Jolin, CEO and Co-Founder of Results for America. “We are very proud to have partnered with bipartisan legislators and members of our Invest in What Works coalition to develop and support these critical evidence-based policy provisions. We thank the members of Congress from both parties who worked to strengthen the impact of federal investment in education through better use of data, evidence and evaluation.”

This bipartisan reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act would take the following steps to improve education outcomes through the use of data, evidence, and evaluation:

Education Innovation and Research

  • For the first time, authorize a “Grants for Education Innovation and Research” program to develop, implement, replicate, and scale up testing of evidence-based innovations to improve student outcomes;

Pay for Success

  • For the first time, allow local school districts to invest their drop-out prevention funds (Title I, Part D) and student safety and health funds (Title IV, Part A, Sec. 4108) in Pay for Success initiatives;

Directing Formula Funds to Evidence-Based Solutions

  • For the first time, define the term “evidence-based” within ESEA programs and require local school districts and individual schools to include “evidence-based interventions” that demonstrate strong, moderate, or promising levels of evidence in their plans for improving low-performing schools;

Directing Competitive Funds to Evidence-Based Solutions

  •  Require the U.S. Department of Education to give priority to applicants demonstrating strong, moderate, or promising levels of evidence in seven competitive grant programs;

Building the Evidence Base

  • Allow the U.S. Department of Education to invest up to 0.5 percent of ESEA program funds (except ESEA Title I funds and other programs that already have evaluation set-asides) in program evaluations; and

Programs with Track Records of Success

  • Reauthorize two grant programs that grant awards to entities with track records of success in educator development program (SEED) and replicating and expanding high-quality charter schools.

Several of these provisions were included in the joint Results for America-American Enterprise Institute report, Moneyball for Education: Using Data, Evidence, and Evaluation to Improve Federal Education Policy, released earlier this year.

About Results for America

Results for America (RFA) improves outcomes for young people, their families, and communities by shifting public resources toward evidence-based, results-driven solutions. RFA is working to achieve this goal by building a strong bipartisan “Invest in What Works” coalition; developing and advancing the next generation of evidence-based, results-driven practices, policies, and programs; and supporting leaders at all levels of government to invest in what works. For more information about Results for America, visit

To learn more about the evidence-based policy provisions click here


Press Release: Results for America and America Forward: Federal Evidence-Based Innovation Funds Are Improving Outcomes