In Applied Research for Sustainable Change , Sharon M. Ravitch and Nicole Mittenfelner Carl draw on twenty years of teaching and research to offer an incisive guide to practitioner-led qualitative research. They make the case for local knowledge generation--inquiry-based, school-level research that can contextualize quantitative data, enrich insight, and guide leaders in making more effective decisions leading to sustainable organizational change. The authors offer a framework for conducting applied research that connects practitioner research to theories of transformational leadership and professional development. They show how to align research studies with the school's mission and context and offer step-by-step guidance on forming a research team, designing the research project, collecting and analyzing data, and formulating, sharing, and acting on results. In each chapter, they draw on examples provided by education leaders who have participated in their courses. This book provides an invaluable resource for empowering education leaders at a time when their professional judgment is often circumscribed or dismissed. A central theme of the book is the power of participatory research to counter simplistic, often deficit-based narratives about patterns of student achievement and to foster transformational, sustainable change. Sharon M. Ravitch is a professor of practice at the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education. Nicole Mittenfelner Carl is a postdoctoral fellow in the Teaching, Learning, and Leadership Division at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education.