Past Projects

  • dynamic new superintendent, appointed to revitalize a chronically failing urban school district, engaged CPRL to conduct an inventory of turnaround strategies in use in comparable districts across the nation, to merge or alter boundaries with neighboring districts; consolidate and reorganize schools within the district; alter the top-heavy deployment of staff and resources between the central office and schools; and improve the quality of the district’s school leaders and teachers. The superintendent asked CPRL to evaluate evidence that the different strategies had improved student results; assess his legal authority to implement them; make recommendations among the strategies based on their practical and legal viability; and develop arguments under or propose changes in existing law to maximize his capacity to implement recommended strategies.
     
  • On behalf of a national civil rights organization, CPRL developed a plan for using the community-driven creation of new schools in areas of a large city undergoing rapid gentrification to expand and maintain social integration of the schools without violating legal restrictions on race-based decisions making.
     
  • large urban school district recently reached settlements ending two lengthy lawsuits that had governed the district’s treatment of students with disabilities. Simultaneously, the district adopted a new policy to mainstream special education students in general education classes. The district engaged CPRL to study procedures in place in other large school districts and recommend new ways of handling special education complaints consistently with the recent settlements and with its new approach to placing special education students.
     
  • An advocacy group dedicated to protecting public education in a southern state against funding cuts and privatization efforts asked CPRL to help it develop an affirmative strategy for improving public education in the state. A key component of that strategy was to afford traditional public schools many of the autonomy and operational advantages of charter schools. The student team researched the design, implementation and results of recent school autonomy and decentralization legislation in states across the country and draft a report for publication identifying ways the state could revise legal and regulatory constraints on public schools and facilitate their use of increased autonomy to improve student outcomes.
     
  • large urban school district engaged CPRL to design (i) a comprehensive system of qualitative and quantitative measures of school effectiveness to provide schools with actionable improvement data and increase public accountability, and (ii) a process for annually identifying schools for improvement steps and restructuring, consistent with federal and state law.
     
  • national foundation retained CPRL to (i) convene a network of regional intermediary organizations that support the diffusion of “next generation” personalized learning models among state departments of education, school districts and schools to work together to identify authentic mechanisms for measuring their impact and (ii) use that information to develop a performance management system the foundation can use to measure the impact of its investments in these intermediary organizations and in personalized learning generally.
     
  • medium sized school district in the South asked CPRL to develop a plan for transitioning the district’s central offices over the next six years from a traditional bureaucratic structure to one affording the flexibility and providing the facilitation needed for an all-school transformation to “next generation,” blended learning, and personalized learning models.
     
  • western state’s department of education engaged CPRL (i) to develop a 5-year strategic plan to align, improve, and promote the state’s efforts to improve the quality of teachers in the state across the entire HR “eco-system” from recruitment and on-boarding through evaluation and improvement structures through retention, career ladders/lattices, and compensation (including pay for performance) and (ii) for the teacher evaluation portion of the process, to design a plan for transforming a recently developed system of temporary one-off processes into a rigorous, efficient, and stable system for annually collecting data and generating scores, outcomes and consequences.
     
  • In support of a southern state’s department of education, CPRL developed a plan for reorganizing, rationalizing, and streamlining the state’s entire portfolio of early childhood services and supports—the most comprehensive such portfolio in the nation.
     
  • Collaborating with a large urban school district’s internal research team, CPRL conducted an evaluation of an interschool collaboration program that engages educators from 146 schools in cycles of inquiry to develop and execute customized school improvement plans, including qualitative and quantitative research documenting program implementation, report results, and provide recommendations for program design.
     
  • state-centered New England foundation that supports organizations mobilizing parents to demand and promote educational equity retained CPRL to design and pilot tools for assessing and improving the effectiveness of community organizing and enabling the foundation to and grantees to track the latter’s progress over the life of the grant, measure the foundation’s and grantees’ collective impact, and award a prize to the most effective grantee organization.