Tag Archives: Educational Resources

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SIG Approved Evidence Based, Whole School Reform Model

Under the School Improvement Grants (SIG) final requirements, 80 Fed. Reg. 7224 (Feb. 9, 2015), (available at: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/02/09/2015-02570/final-requirements-school-improvement-grants-title-i-of-the-elementary-and-secondary-education-act), a local educational agency (LEA) may apply to its State educational agency (SEA) to use SIG funds to implement an evidence-based, whole school reform model. Under the final requirements, an evidence-based, whole-school reform model:

    1. Is supported by evidence of effectiveness, which must include at least one study of the model that—
      1. Meets What Works Clearinghouse evidence standards with or without reservations;
      2. Found a statistically significant favorable impact on a student academic achievement or attainment outcome, with no statistically significant and overriding unfavorable impacts on that outcome for relevant populations in the study or in other studies of the intervention reviewed by and reported on by the What Works Clearinghouse; and
      3. If meeting What Works Clearinghouse evidence standards with reservations, includes a large sample and a multi-site sample as defined in 34 CFR 77.1 (Note: multiple studies can cumulatively meet the large and multi-site sample requirements so long as each study meets the other requirements in this section);
    2. Is a whole-school reform model as defined in these requirements; and
    3. Is implemented by the LEA in partnership with a whole-school reform model developer as defined in these requirements.

To identify models that meet the requirements of the evidence-based, whole-school reform model set forth in the final requirements (restated above), the U.S. Department of Education (Department) conducted two calls for evidence, one in fall 2014 and another in winter 2015, inviting submissions of prospective models for review against the final requirements by What Works Clearinghouse-certified reviewers and Department staff.

The review of prospective models is ongoing. The Department will update the list provided here on a rolling basis to reflect those models that have been determined to meet the final requirements. The Department also intends to provide an opportunity for individuals or entities to submit additional models for review in the future.

We list below those models that were found to have met the requirements of the evidence-based, whole-school reform model. We have also provided, for each model, the narrative description and at least one study meeting What Works Clearinghouse standards that were submitted in response to the calls for evidence. An LEA that chooses to apply to its SEA for SIG funds to implement an evidence-based, whole-school reform model must select from among those models listed below.

As a reminder, under the final requirements, an LEA implementing an evidence-based, whole-school reform model must implement the model in partnership with a whole-school reform model developer, as defined in the final requirements. Under that definition, the LEA must partner with the entity or individual that maintains proprietary rights to the evidence-based, whole-school reform model. If no entity or individual maintains proprietary rights to the model, the LEA must partner with an entity or individual that has a demonstrated record of success in implementing a whole-school reform model and is selected through a rigorous review process that includes a determination that the entity or individual is likely to produce strong results for the school. We have distinguished below between those models for which an entity or individual maintains proprietary rights and those for which no proprietary rights exist.

Proprietary Strategies

Success for All

Institute for Student Achievement (ISA)

Positive Action

Non-Proprietary Strategies

Small Schools of Choice

The Standards and Assessments Peer Review

Program Overview

The No Child Left Behind Act of
(NCLB) established requirements for the standards and
assessment systems of states. The requirements include seven
different components or sections, each section including several
critical elements. In order to address these requirements states
prepare and submit a report with accompanying documentation. This
report and documentation constitutes a state’s “submission”. The
submission is then reviewed by Peer Reviewers, national experts
knowledgeable in the fields of standards and assessment.

In reviewing state submissions two things have been noticed.
First, states often fail to submit evidence to address a critical
required element and secondly, in cases where evidence is submitted
the documentation may not adequately address the full scope or
intent of the element.

This User’s Guide provides general
information to help states prepare their submissions for review, a
summary of the essential requirements for each section of the
submission and information regarding specific elements that is often

This Guide should be viewed as a companion piece to the Standards and Assessments Peer Review Guidance: Information and Examples for
Meeting Requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
, updated January 12, 2009.

Because the requirements for NCLB
are comprehensive, as noted earlier a state’s submission can be
quite substantial in terms of volume and substance. This may present a challenge for reviewers in ensuring that the information actually
needed is present and that the information provided meets the
requirements. To facilitate the review and enhance the efficiency of
the process we have developed general recommendations that apply to the entire submission from a state.


Who May Apply: Local education agencies (LEAs) and institutions of higher education (IHEs) that have experienced a traumatic event of such magnitude as to severely disrupt the teaching and learning environment.

In order for an LEA or IHE to qualify for funding, the organization needs to be able to demonstrate that the learning environment has been disrupted as the result of a significant, traumatic event. An LEA or IHE that experienced a traumatic or violent event that disrupted teaching and learning may be eligible for services under Project SERV if the LEA or IHE is able to:

  1. Demonstrate the traumatic effect on the learning environment including how the event has disrupted teaching and learning; and
  2. Demonstrate that the needed services cannot be adequately provided with existing resources in a comprehensive and timely manner, and that the provision of services and assistance will result in an undue financial hardship on the LEA or IHE.

Project SERV funds have been awarded and used to address needs related to each of the following types of events:

  • School shootings
  • Suicide clusters
  • Terrorism (response to 9/11, Washington, DC sniper incident, Virginia Tech)
  • Major natural disasters, (e.g. response to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria)
  • School bus accidents
  • Student homicides (off campus)
  • Hate crimes committed against students, faculty members and/or staff

It is important to note that this list is not exhaustive and that any traumatic event that impacts schools, students, and staff may qualify an LEA or IHE for Project SERV funding.