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Education PolicyEvidence of Equity and Effectiveness$
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Stephen Gorard

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781447342144

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447342144.001.0001

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Introduction: themes of the book

Introduction: themes of the book

(p.3) One Introduction: themes of the book
Education Policy

Stephen Gorard

Policy Press

This chapter illustrates the difficulties of public policy-making in education. Within this sector, policy-making is evidence-informed, meaning that policy-makers and their advisers come up with ideas for changes in policy, which may or may not be based on solid research evidence. Some of these ideas are implemented and can be evaluated in terms of their policy objectives. Policy-makers and their advisers then react to this newer evidence, and the improving cycle of policy continues. The chapter argues that, in reality, the cycle is nothing like this. In education, new policies and interventions are rarely based on good prior evidence of effectiveness and of their side effects. Many policy areas are evidence-resistant, in fact. Evidence-resistant here means that the policies are proposed and implemented, even though the clear weight of evidence is against them.

Keywords:   education, policy-making, policy-makers, policy changes, research evidence, policy objectives, cycle of policy

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