Research
& Reports

Read our most recent and most requested reports and white papers on education issues, trends, and challenges. We dig deep into the research, analyzing the data and the best practices we’ve seen firsthand in our decades of work in thousands of schools across the U.S. and around the world. Our goal is to provide educators and leaders with new ideas and practical guidance to make lasting, systemic improvements that benefit students. If you don’t find the report you’re looking for, please contact us with your request and we’ll get a copy to you.

Journalists and reporters: McREL’s team of expert researchers, program evaluators, authors, and education consultants can provide background information, research findings, and interviews regarding our research reports and other education-related issues. Download our press kit for more information.

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Sustaining Coherent Reform: An Evaluation Guide for Districts and Schools (2010)

This guide helps districts and schools evaluate their reform efforts—both to meet requirements for external accountability (such as School Improvement Grants) and to meet their own needs for useful evaluative information. The guide helps administrators plan and conduct a focused, practical evaluation of school reform implementation and impact; report key findings in formats useful to stakeholders; and use the findings for program improvement.

Cicchinelli, L., & Barley, Z. (2010). Sustaining coherent reform: An evaluation guide for districts and schools. Denver, CO: McREL International.

Download the guide.

Learning System Reports for the Stupski Foundation (2009)

This series of eight reports prepared by McREL for the Stupski Foundation synthesize research and literature on best practices related to formative assessment, college readiness, curricular pathways, leadership practices, effective pedagogy, data-driven decision making, and strategies for supporting urban, underserved students’ social, emotional, and academic learning needs. Each report provides a list of recommendations and options for consideration by education systems seeking improvement in these areas.

Clark, T., Englert, K., Frazee, D., Shebby, S., & Randel, B. (2009). Assessment: A McREL report prepared for Stupski Foundation’s learning system. Denver, CO: Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning.

Lefkowits, L., Woempner, C., Kendall, J., & Frost, D. (2009). College readiness: A McREL report prepared for Stupski Foundation’s Learning System. Denver, CO: Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning.

Goodwin, B., McIver, M., Snyder, C., & Ryan, S. (2009). Curriculum: A McREL report prepared for Stupski Foundation’s Learning System. Denver, CO: Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning.

McIver, M., Kearns, J., Lyons, C., & Sussman, M. (2009). Leadership: A McREL Report Prepared for Stupski Foundation’s Learning System. Denver, CO: Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning.

Germeroth, C., Barker, J., Arens, S. & Wang, X. (2009). Our kids: A McREL report prepared for Stupski Foundation’s Learning System. Denver, CO: Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning.

Englert, K.E., Apthorp, H., Seebaum, M. (2009). Pedagogy: A McREL report prepared for Stupski Foundation’s Learning System. Denver, CO: Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning.

Moore, L., Rease, D., & Barker, J. (2009). Student supports: A McREL report prepared for Stupski Foundation’s Learning System. Denver, CO: Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning.

Igel, C., Apthorp, H., Peterson, G., Davis, T., Moore, L., & Englert, K. (2009). Systems Diagnostics: A McREL Report Prepared for Stupski Foundation’s Learning System. Denver, CO: Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning.

Balanced Leadership: What 30 Years of Research Tells Us About the Effect of Leadership on Student Achievement (2003)

This McREL report presents the findings from a research meta-analysis that examined the effects of leadership practices on student achievement. McREL identified 21 leadership responsibilities that are significantly associated with student achievement and translated these results into a “balanced leadership framework” which describes the knowledge, skills, strategies, and tools leaders need to positively impact student achievement.

Waters, T. Marzano, R., & McNulty, B. (2003). Balanced Leadership: What 30 years of research tells us about the effect of leadership on student achievement. Denver, Colorado: McREL International.

Download the full report.

White Paper | School District Leadership that Works: The Effect of Superintendent Leadership on Student Achievement (2006)

This working paper analyzes the influence of district superintendents on student achievement and the characteristics of effective superintendents. Through a meta-analysis of research findings, the paper identifies five district-level leadership responsibilities that have statistically significant correlations with average student academic achievement. All five of these responsibilities relate to setting and keeping districts focused on teaching and learning goals.

Waters, J.T. & Marzano, R. (2006). School district leadership that works: the effect of superintendent leadership on student achievement. Denver, CO: McREL International.

Download the full report.