Workshop 2

More Equitable Education Opportunities and Outcomes Through Evidence

The bipartisan 2015 Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which authorizes the largest federal K-12 education programs, is at its core a civil rights law that for the first time encourages, and in some cases requires, states and school districts to build and use evidence of effectiveness to improve opportunities and outcomes, especially for our nation’s most vulnerable children.

These landmark evidence provisions, however, will have little or no positive effect on outcomes or opportunities if they aren’t implemented well at the state, school district, and school levels.

Participants in this session will hear from local, state, and national education leaders about how they’re taking advantage of this historic focus on data and evidence in K-12 education to close opportunity and achievement gaps in public schools across the country.

In particular, this session will spotlight innovative efforts in Nevada to drive federal and state resources toward evidence-based solutions and ongoing rigorous evaluations — and the impact that work has had to date.


  • Lindsay Fryer, Vice President, Penn Hill Group, Former Senior Education Policy Advisor to Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) on the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee (Bio)
  • Dawn Hagness, Assistant Superintendent, Humboldt County School District 
  • Karen Holley, Coordinator, State and Federal Programs Nye Schools, Nevada 
  • Lynn Jennings, Senior Director of National and State Partnerships, The Education Trust (Bio)
  • Gabby Lamarre, Title I Director and Federal Liaison, Nevada Department of Education 
  • Christopher Ruszkowski, Former New Mexico Secretary of Education (Bio)
  • Moderator: Sara Kerr, Vice President, Education Policy Implementation, Results for America (Bio)


Once Evidence Skeptics, Now Evidence Champions – Nevada Case Study (Results for America)
ESSA Leverage Points: 50-State Report on Promising Practices for Using Evidence to Improve Student Outcomes (Results for America)
Shifting Dollars to Improve Student Outcomes: Five Ways to Prioritize Evidence in State and Local Spending Decisions – Education Policy Roadmap (Results for America)