Evidence-Based Policy Making in Education

Abstract views: 14 / PDF downloads: 4


  • Margaret Wu


Evidence-based decision making, accountability, transparency


In the current climate of “accountability” and “transparency” as demanded by the public, policy makers justify their actions by drawing on research findings and data collected by various means. There appears to be a belief that quantitative data provide more credible evidence than qualitative data. Hence the use of data has become pivotal in decision-making. More recently, education policy documents drawing on international student survey results have appeared around the world. This paper evaluates some of the evidences used by policy makers and shows that there is a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the data underlying these research findings. More importantly, the paper demonstrates that statistics alone cannot provide hard evidence. In fact, we need to draw on our own experience and a great deal of sense-making in interpreting data and drawing conclusions.


• Bredt, J., & Syez, C. (2007). Education and Economic Growth: A Literature Review. Labour Market Research Unit, Department of Education, Training and the Arts, Queensland Government. Working Paper No. 50. Retrieved September 29, 2012, from http://training.qld.gov.au/resources/employers/pdf/wp50- education-economic-growth.pdf

• Hanushek, E., & Woessmann, L. (2009). Do better schools lead to more growth? Cognitive skills, economic outcomes and causation. NBER Working Paper No. 14633. Retrieved May 15, 2012, from http://www.nber.org/papers/w14633

• New Zealand Treasury (2012(a)). Treasury’s Advice on Lifting Student Achievement in New Zealand: Evidence Brief. Retrieved May 15, 2012, from http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/media- speeches/speeches/economicleadership/sanz-evidence-mar12.pdf.

• New Zealand Treasury (2012(b)). Economic Leadership: When Business Isn’t Usual. Speech delivered by Gabriel Makhlouf, Secretary to the Treasury. Retrieved May 15, 2012, from http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/media-speeches/speeches/economicleadership/sp-econlead- 20mar12.pdf

• OECD (2010a). PISA 2009 Results: What Students Know and Can Do – Student Performance in Reading, Mathematics and Science (Volume I) Retrieved May 15, 2012, from http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264091450-en

• OECD (2010b). PISA 2009 Results: What Makes a School Successful? – Resources, Policies and Practices (Volume IV). Retrieved May 15, 2012, from http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264091559-en

• OECD (2010c). PISA 2009 Results: Learning Trends: Changes in Student Performance Since 2000 (Volume V). Retrieved May 15, 2012, from http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264091580-en

• Paine, S.L., & Schleicher, A. (2011). What the U.S. can learn from the world’s most successful education reform efforts. Policy Paper. McGraw-Hill Research Foundation. Retrieved November, 20, 2013, from http://www.mcgraw-hillresearchfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/pisa-intl-competitiveness.pdf

• Thrupp, M. (2010). The politics of being an educational researcher: minimising the harm done by research. Waikato Journal of Education 15(2), 119-133.

Kaynak Göster: Wu, M. (2014). Evidence-Based Policy Making in Education . International Journal of Contemporary Educational Research , 1 (1) , 1-8 . Retrieved from http://ijcer.net/tr/pub/issue/16050/167828




How to Cite

Wu, M. (2022). Evidence-Based Policy Making in Education. International Journal of Contemporary Educational Research, 1(1), 1–8. Retrieved from https://ijcer.net/index.php/pub/article/view/7