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ERIC Number: ED562070
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Nov
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 7
A District's Use of Data and Research to Inform Policy Formation and Implementation
Seager, Andrew; Madura, John P.; Cox, Joshua; Carey, Rebecca
Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast & Islands
This descriptive study of a change initiative by the Syracuse (NY) City School District informs the question, "How do school boards and districts better use research and data to inform policy decisions?" Researchers used interviews and artifacts to describe how the district developed and implemented a new discipline policy, the Syracuse Code of Conduct, Character and Support. The researchers recorded semi-structured interviews with six participants in the policy study: a school board member, three district office staff, a principal, and an external consultant. Interviewees were asked to identify publicly available documents or other materials that were used to inform the policy decision or that played a part in the process. Researchers developed an interview coding scheme, analyzed the interviews using commercially available software, and examined publicly available documents. The Syracuse City School District was cited for high and disproportionate rates of out-of school suspension. The study describes how the district developed a strategic plan, built internal analytic capacity, reviewed relevant research, created a representative 50-person committee to analyze current policy and recommend a new one, compared drafts against those of other urban districts, arrived at a new policy, and systemically implemented that policy. This included adopting a code of conduct based in restorative justice principles, revising memorandums of understanding with outside service providers, changing school counselor and other school staff role descriptions, installing a data system so that each school and the district could monitor school discipline patters, and training all staff. The study suggests components of a coherent strategy for using data and research to inform policy and practice that other districts might consider.
Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast & Islands. Available from: Education Development Center, Inc. 43 Foundry Avenue, Waltham, MA 02453. Tel: 617-969-7100; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast & Islands (ED); Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC); Urban School Improvement Alliance (USIA)
Identifiers - Location: New York
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: EDIES12C0009