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Information for Research

The Successful Practices Network was created to be a living lab for schools to exchange research, ideas, best practices, and professional development resources. SPN Research has two primary missions: 1) to disseminate the most useful education research available that is consistent with the organizing pedagogy of Rigor and Relevance for ALL students to SPN members 2) to engage in research with a variety of partner schools, organizations, and foundations in effective instructional and leadership practices that can be replicated and implemented on a larger scale. SPN has recently partnered with two Texas education leaders to better understand the effective and efficient practices that are possible with an aligned near real time data system. SPN Research also partnered with CCSSO, the International Center for Leadership in Education, and the Quaglia Institute on a five-year study of model schools and promising schools that sought to improve the rigor, relevance and relationships in their schools. SPN research is informed by the data generated by the WE Surveys. This analysis guides development of new initiatives and resources for members. SPN members access a deep collection of research articles and links through a searchable database that is organized by school level, topic, and keywords. Members can download as much of this research as they want as part of their membership.



  • A wide range of research sources are sifted and organized for members around topics of interest to SPN members
  • Research is selected for its practical application and usefulness to school practitioners
  • Research is connected to other resources accessible on the website through a common “Topic” database
  • Members can rate and identify research that is helpful. SPN monitors access rates to better understand which research members seek out and use.
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14 December, 201114 December, 2011
Folder: College Readiness
This study, Access to Algebra I: The Effects of Online Mathematics for Grade 8 Students, found that algebra-ready students in schools offering online Algebra I scored higher on an algebra test and were more likely to participate in an advanced mathematics course sequence in high school, compared to algebra-ready students in schools that did not offer the online course. The study also found no evidence of negative effects on non-algebra-ready students attending schools where online Algebra I w...Read more
11 April, 201111 April, 2011
Folder: Turnaround Strategies
Students who are not reading at grade level by third grade are four times less likely to graduate from high school on time, and disadvantaged students who fall behind by third grade are 13 times less likely to graduate with their peers, according to new research. The author of the study said reading is taught until third grade, at which point students are expected to use reading skills to learn new material, meaning that students who fall behind likely will remain there.
24 May, 201024 May, 2010
Folder: Adult Education
This study of four national English lan­guage arts college readiness standards sets compares content alignment and level of alignment of the standards statements in three comparison sets to a benchmark set, the American Diploma Project (ADP), and analyzes the cognitive complexity of all four sets. This study is part of SWREL's "Issues and Answers" series. Look for the dramatic differences in the number and types of standards across the 4 compared groups.
Public Resource 22 November, 201122 November, 2011
Folder: Adult Education
As schools and districts work to improve student learning outcomes, demand has grown for information on efforts to promote formative assessment and strategies that support its implementation. Formative assessment has been defined by a national group of education leaders and researchers as an ongoing instructional process rather than a discrete event. Using formative assessment, teachers collect feedback daily and systematically with students to inform adjustments to instruction to help studen...Read more
Public Resource 29 March, 201129 March, 2011
Folder: White Papers
Studies have shown that students understand and retain knowledge best when they have applied it
in a practical, relevant setting. A teacher who relies on lecturing does not provide students with optimal
learning opportunities. Instead, students go to school to watch the teacher work. The International
Center’s Rigor/Relevance Framework is a powerful tool that has captured the imagination of teachers to
aspire to teach students to high rigor and high relevance.

All educators can use t...Read more
Public Resource 8 April, 20118 April, 2011
Folder: White Papers
The importance of all students achieving reading proficiency, as well as the new federal requirements to set proficiency standards and monitor progress across subgroups of students, continues to influence policymakers, educators, and the American public. No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requires that all students be “proficient” in reading by 2013-14 and demands that all schools make adequate yearly progress (AYP) toward that end. Proficiency is a truly worthy goal, but the practical realities...Read more
Public Resource 17 May, 201117 May, 2011
Folder: White Papers
For decades, General Motors was the heart of the American economy. Then in early 2009, the one-time market leader in the automobile industry found itself on the brink of insolvency. More recently, GM has been in the news once again, this time touting its back-on-its feet strategy. Our K-12 education system could learn a few lessons from the business dynasty’s failures, and more importantly, from the savvier overseas car companies that nearly put it out of business.
24 August, 201024 August, 2010
Folder: Adult Education
This article presents a community-based relational approach to fostering parent engagement in schools. We investigated the efforts of CBOs to engage parents in schools in low-income urban communities. We argue that when CBOs are authentically rooted in community life, they can bring to schools a better understanding of the culture and assets of families, as well as resources that schools may lack. As go-betweens, they can build relational bridges between educators and parents and act as catal...Read more
24 May, 201024 May, 2010
Folder: Adult Education
This report examines the high school preparation and postsecondary persistence of first-generation students—those students whose parents had no education beyond high school—and compares them with students whose parents went to college. Previous research has demonstrated that first-generation students exhibit different college enrollment and persistence behaviors than their counterparts whose parents have more education.
Public Resource 21 April, 201121 April, 2011
Folder: White Papers
There is a great scene in the movie BraveHeart where William Wallace, played by Mel Gibson, addresses the troops prior to a battle with the English army. After he delivers his moving call to arms he returns to the ranks and his fellow soldier looks at him and says “Nice speech, now what do we do?”

Similarly, audiences who listen to my keynote on brain health typically wish to apply the content of the message to their own lives and to their organizations ask “Now what do we do?” Cer...Read more

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