From Data to Action

From Data to Action A Community Approach to Improving Youth Outcomes

Edited by Milbrey McLaughlin and Rebecca A. London, foreword by Thomas W. Payzant
Pub. Date: April 2013
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-548-0
paper, 216 Pages
Pub. Date: April 2013
ISBN-13: 978-1-61250-546-6
Price: $32.00

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This book is a welcome guide for educators, civic leaders, and researchers looking for ways to leverage data to identify the most effective policies, interventions, and use of resources for their communities.


From Data to Action is a timely, compelling, and important book that addresses how school and other community leaders can go even further toward understanding the strengths and needs of their students—by gathering data from agencies across their communities, studying and archiving the information, and using it to improve teaching and learning. — From the foreword by Thomas W. Payzant, former professor of practice, Harvard Graduate School of Education

This pioneering book vividly reports on how local leaders, now armed with thick evidence, make sure that no student falls through the cracks. From Philly to San Francisco, From Data to Action reports on inspiring progress in how activists and scholars are pulling together to elevate the next generation. — Bruce Fuller, professor, education and public policy, University of California, Berkeley

From Data to Action is an important and courageous book that powerfully illustrates how data created and shared with the community can simultaneously advance scholarship and the quality of life of children and their families. McLaughlin and London’s honest account of the strengths and difficulties of democratic, actionable research is simply invaluable for developing and sustaining meaningful university-community partnerships. — Ira Harkavy, associate vice president and director, Netter Center for Community Partnerships, University of Pennsylvania

From Data to Action: A Community Approach to Improving Youth Outcomes is a well-written and insightful text for leaders in nonprofits, school districts, and universities who are interested in initiating or improving a data-sharing partnership.  — Jo Beth Jimerson, Teachers College Record

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About the Editors

Milbrey McLaughlin, EdD, is the David Jacks Professor of Education and Public Policy, Emerita, at Stanford University and the founding director of the John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Communities. She also is codirector of the Center for Research on the Context of Teaching, an interdisciplinary research center engaged in analyses of how teaching and learning are shaped by teachers’ organizational, institutional, and social-cultural contexts. McLaughlin has focused throughout her career on the various institutional contexts and policies that shape youth outcomes—schools and community-based institutions most particularly. The JGC embodies McLaughlin’s interest in identifying and understanding the cross institutional issues that shape the settings within and through which youth move, and in advancing a “youth sector” stance to inform policy and practice. She is the author or coauthor of many books, articles, and chapters on education policy issues, contexts for teaching and learning, productive environments for youth, and community-based organizations. Her recent books include: Between Movement and Establishment: Organizations Advocating for Youth, Stanford University Press, 2009; Building School-based Teacher Learning Communities, Teachers College Press, 2006; School Districts and Instructional Renewal, Teachers College Press, 2002; and Communities of Practice and the Work of High School Teaching, University of Chicago Press, 2001. Dr. McLaughlin holds an EdM and EdD in education policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a BA in philosophy from Connecticut College.

Rebecca A. London, PhD, is Senior Researcher at the John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Communities and the researcher overseeing all analyses conducted with the Youth Data Archive. She has been with the Center since 2005. Throughout her career, London’s research has bridged academia and policy, focusing on the policies and programs intended to serve low-income or disadvantaged families and youth. Using both qualitative and quantitative methods, London has conducted research on a variety of policy-relevant topics such as physical fitness and academic achievement, secondary to postsecondary transitions, the effects of afterschool program participation, the digital divide for youth, the effects of welfare reform, college attendance among low-income mothers, and children’s living arrangements. Her work has been published in journals such as the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, Social Science Quarterly, the Journal of Higher Education, Journal of School Health, Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, and Youth & Society. She has also written many reports and briefs aimed at a nonacademic policy and practitioner audience. Dr. London holds a PhD in human development and social policy from Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy, an MA in economics, also from Northwestern, and a BA in economics from the University of Michigan.