This paper examines the relationship between policy formation in the United States and educational policy researchers. The experience of one independent 'think tank', namely, Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE), located within universities, illustrates how research might inform policy and how it might not be victim to the problems, well rehearsed in the literature, of poor dissemination. Fruitful links between policy research and policy formation require close attention to the sources, channels and format of dissemination, to the nature of the message and to the characteristics of the policymakers.
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