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Why Evidence Matters: A New Blog Series Highlighting Important Topics in Public Education

If you asked 100 people what the word evidence means to them, you might receive 100 different answers. In a society increasingly overloaded with information—and plagued by doubts about what is “real”— we can find ourselves questioning almost everything.

In the Riley Institute’s new public education-focused blog series, we aim to present evidence-based information in bite-sized pieces, highlighting research and data from all corners of the public education realm. We will touch on topics such as research-backed classroom practices, how Montessori instruction can impact outcomes, how leadership comes into play, and the importance of afterschool and summer learning opportunities – to name just a few.

We also want to hear from you. We will invite submissions on various topics, as we know that lived experiences and first-hand knowledge are also important when considering approaches to problems.

Most importantly, however, we will present you with information that is grounded in evidence, with the hope of providing a rhetoric-free, facts-based approach to change. As we navigate the ever-changing landscape of what is considered best practice in education, we will focus not just on what is, but also what can be, always examining practices and policies with an eye to equitable outcomes for all South Carolinians.

As Mr. Jaggers reminded us in Great Expectations: “Take nothing on its looks; take everything on evidence. There’s no better rule.”

Kelly Gregory is the Riley Institute’s Director for Public Education Partnerships and Projects and previously taught for 11 years in South Carolina public schools. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Special Education. She also holds a National Board certification as an Exceptional Needs Specialist. She can be reached at