Evaluating policies and practices to ensure that they are improving student outcomes can inform the allocation of resources. Shifting resources to the programs or practices with the greatest evidence of effectiveness can maximize students’ chances of success. Improving student achievement, however, does not necessarily mean spending more on education. In fact, there are tremendous efficiencies to be achieved by serving students well at the outset and each step along their school career. Making sure each student is better prepared at the end of each grade reduces their risk of falling behind, reducing their odds of needing remediation or other assistance in later grades. Approximately 10 percent of public school students in kindergarten through the 9th grade are retained. Taking advantage of the opportunities to increase efficiency, and funding the strategies with the greatest positive impact on students, can help to reduce the annual $3.6 billion direct college cost of remediation.