Policy briefs written by academics—the kind typically published in Education Finance and Policy—should be a crucial source of information for policy makers. Yet too frequently these briefs fail to garner the consideration they deserve. Their authors are too focused on the potential objections of their fellow academics, who are concerned with rigor and internal validity, instead of the objections of policy makers, who are concerned with generalizability, understandability, and utility. And researchers too often believe that simply publishing a brief is sufficient to communicate its results. By focusing briefs on topics on the policy agenda, helping policy makers see their constituents in the results, writing clearly, studying implementation and not just outcomes, weighing evidence and drawing conclusions, and reaching out to policy makers beyond publication, researchers have the greatest potential to see their work influence public policy.

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