Intermediary Organizations in Charter School Policy Coalitions: Evidence From New Orleans

Elizabeth DeBray, Janelle Scott, Christopher Lubienski, Huriya Jabbar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article develops a framework for investigating research use, using an "advocacy coalition framework" and the concepts of a "supply side" (mainly organizations) and "demand side" (policymakers). Drawing on interview data and documents from New Orleans about the charter school reforms that have developed there since 2005, the authors examine (a) the role of intermediaries in producing information and research syntheses for local, state, and/or federal policymakers; (b) the extent of policymakers' demand for such research and information; and (c) the extent to which local and national coalitions of organizations appear to be influential in research use. The article concludes that there are two coalitions in New Orleans that differ in their interpretations of charter school performance, equity, and access; that there is overall very low research capacity within the intermediary sector; and that there is little evidence of demand from state policymakers for research findings. There was agreement across both coalitions that there is a lack of a credible and non-partisan research group studying the reforms, that is, one that produces data analyses that are not merely descriptive. The authors map preliminary findings about how intermediary organizations are connected to national groups, as well as how research is shared within coalitions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)175-206
Number of pages32
JournalEducational Policy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • charter schools
  • organizational networks
  • policy coalitions
  • research utilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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