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REL Midwest Ask A REL Response


April 2020


What research is available on the role of school leadership in building a trusting and positive learning culture?


Following an established Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest protocol, we conducted a search for research reports, descriptive studies and policy overviews on the role of school leadership in building a trusting and positive learning culture. For details on the databases and sources, keywords, and selection criteria used to create this response, please see the Methods section at the end of this memo.

Below, we share a sampling of the publicly accessible resources on this topic. References are listed in alphabetical order, not necessarily in order of relevance. The search conducted is not comprehensive; other relevant references and resources may exist. For each reference, we provide an abstract, excerpt, or summary written by the study’s author or publisher. We have not evaluated the quality of these references, but provide them for your information only.

Research References

Barth, R. S. (2002). The culture builder. Educational Leadership, 59(8), 6–11. Retrieved from

From the abstract: “Changing a toxic school culture into a healthy school culture that inspires lifelong learning among students and adults is the greatest challenge of instructional leadership.”

Cruz-Gonzalez, C., Domingo Segovia, J., & Lucena Rodriguez, C. (2019). School principals and leadership identity: A thematic exploration of the literature. Educational Research, 61(3), 319–336. Retrieved from

From the ERIC abstract: “Background: In the last decade, much research attention has been paid to notions of leadership and the professional identity of school. It is widely agreed that school principals play a very important role in school improvement; international reports point to ‘school leadership’ as a key factor in education quality, and recent studies suggest that the leadership identity of principals is critical for achieving effective leadership in schools worldwide. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to conduct a thematic exploration of the literature relating to school principals and leadership identity. Design and methods: A scoping review was carried out. Two major databases were searched for papers published on this topic in the last decade. Once we had established an overview of research on this subject, we conducted a thematic analysis to identify the topical focus of research. Results: We found that the literature reflected an increasing and intensified interest in the topic of school leadership as the decade progressed. Furthermore, a range of emerging subtopics was identified. These included the relationship between school culture and professional identity in school principals; the influence of ethical and personal factors on the professional development of principals; the dilemmas of balancing education policies and personal experiences; and the relationships between gender identity, racial identity, professional experience/career, training and leadership identity. Conclusions: Several key issues emerged from the studies included in this review, such as the importance of external and internal influences in the construction of the professional identity of school principals. Some of the research suggested that school leaders felt the need to develop a new professional identity. Overall, the study indicates that school leadership and its relationship with school improvement should remain an important focus for educational research investigation.”

Note: REL Midwest was unable to locate a link to the full-text version of this resource. Although REL Midwest tries to provide publicly available resources whenever possible, it was determined that this resource may be of interest to you. It may be found through university or public library systems.

Deal, T. E., & Peterson, K. D. (2016). Shaping school culture (3rd ed.). New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons. Retrieved from

From the description: “The most trusted guide to school culture, updated with current challenges and new solutions. Shaping School Culture is the classic guide to exceptional school leadership, featuring concrete guidance on influencing the subtle symbolic features of schools that provide meaning, belief, and faith. Written by renowned experts in the area of school culture, this book tackles the increasing challenges facing public schools and provides clear, candid suggestions for more effective symbolic leadership. This new third edition has been revised to reflect the reality of schools today, including the increased emphasis on high-stakes testing, federal reforms such as No Child Left Behind (NCLB) and Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), state sponsored improvement programs, and other major issues that impact organizational culture and the role of school leaders. Each chapter features new examples and cases that illustrate persistent problems, spelling out key cultural implications and offering concrete examples of overcoming the challenges while maintaining a meaningful learning environment. The chapter on toxic schools continues to provide the field’s most trusted advice on navigating this rocky terrain, and the discussion’s focus on how to manage negativity remains especially integral to besieged school administrators across the U.S.”

Note: REL Midwest was unable to locate a link to the full-text version of this resource. Although REL Midwest tries to provide publicly available resources whenever possible, it was determined that this resource may be of interest to you. It may be found through university or public library systems.

Dinsdale, R. (2017). The role of leaders in developing a positive culture. BU Journal of Graduate Studies in Education, 9(1), 42–45. Retrieved from

From the ERIC abstract: “Principals play a vital role in determining school culture. This culture sets the context within which staff and students work; therefore, it is important that school leaders strive to create a positive culture. This paper examines collaboration, development of staff, provision of resources, transparency of vision, management of workplace stress, and professional development of school leaders as tools to create a positive school culture. These areas are based on my professional experience as a coach and teacher, in addition to current research.”

Drago-Severson, E. (2012). New opportunities for principal leadership: Shaping school climates for enhanced teacher development. Teachers College Record, 114(3), 1–44. Retrieved from

From the ERIC abstract: “Background/Context: Improved professional development for teachers and principals is central to our national educational agenda. Principals struggle with the challenge of how to build school climates that improve practice in an era of heightened accountability and increasingly complex adaptive challenges. Purpose/Objective/Research Questions/Focus of Study: While researchers have investigated for more than 100 years the importance of building healthy school climates that support adult learning, it is essential to examine how principals shape school climates, given the challenging educational demands educators face in contemporary society. More specifically, how do principals shape growth-enhancing climates that support adult learning as they work to manage adaptive challenges (i.e., situations in which both the problem and the solution are unclear)? What effective strategies do principals, who serve in different types of schools (i.e., public, independent, and Catholic), employ to shape climates that are common across different contexts and which, if any, are distinct? The purpose of this investigation was to address these questions to offer insight into a way to accomplish the national goal of supporting teacher development by identifying leadership strategies for building school climates that foster teacher learning. Findings reported here stem from a larger research study that addressed the following meaningful, practical, and theoretical research questions: (a) How do principals shape school climates to promote adult learning? (b) What practices do principals use to support teachers’ transformational learning (growth)? (c) How do principals support their own development? (d) What developmental principles underlie practices that support transformational learning? In this article, I focus on the first two research questions to address one major area of inquiry stemming from the larger study—namely, how do principals shape growth-enhancing climates in diverse contexts? In so doing, I describe (a) how principals serving in different types of schools describe their priorities and practices for shaping climates supportive of teacher learning, (b) principals’ conceptions of their roles as shapers of climates supportive of teacher learning, and (c) principals’ challenges and creative strategies for shaping these school climates. Although this research was conducted before the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act, identifying learning-oriented leadership practices that cultivate growth-enhancing school climates proves all the more necessary given the complexity of leadership today. Research Design: Through qualitative interviews and document analysis, this study—conducted as part of a larger investigation of developmentally based principal leadership practices—explored how 25 principals from different types of schools with varying financial resources responded to the challenges (e.g., financial, human, time, increased accountability) they encountered in shaping school climates that were supportive of teacher learning. Discussion: This research identifies strategies that principals in high-, middle- and low-financial resource Catholic, independent, and public schools use to foster school climates that promote teacher learning and development. Nearly all of the principals in this study employed the following leadership imperatives: (a) attending to context-specific priorities for creating and enhancing school climate, (b) cultivating shared values and flexibility, and (c) building a culture of collaboration. Because principals use a variety of approaches to cultivate learning-oriented climates (i.e., those that support adult learning and development) for teachers, this study suggests the need for support in balancing these approaches. In other words, while all of the principals in this study noted the importance of their climate-shaping role and shared some common strategies for doing so, the practices the principals prioritized and used most frequently varied by school type as opposed to financial resource level. More specifically, the public school principals tended to employ mostly managerial leadership strategies to address the financial and structural realities of their settings. All emphasized the importance of building structures for adult collaboration and the essential need to allocate time for collaboration as well. Independent school leaders mostly relied on the flexibility afforded them through their different missions to create structures and cultivate opportunities for collaboration. The Catholic school principals focused more often on visionary leadership to cultivate school climate supportive of adult development in relation to the school’s Catholic mission.”

Note: REL Midwest was unable to locate a link to the full-text version of this resource. Although REL Midwest tries to provide publicly available resources whenever possible, it was determined that this resource may be of interest to you. It may be found through university or public library systems.

DuFour, R., & Mattos, M. (2013). How do principals really improve schools? Educational Leadership, 70(7), 34–40. Retrieved from

From the ERIC abstract: “Principals are in a paradoxical position. On one hand, they’re called on to use research-based strategies to improve student achievement. On the other, they’re increasingly required to micromanage teachers by observing in classrooms and engaging in intensive evaluation. The authors point out that these two positions are at odds with each other. In fact, research has shown that teacher evaluations, along with many other mandated practices, have not improved teaching or learning. If principals want to improve student achievement, rather than focus on the individual inspection of teaching, they must focus on the collective analysis of evidence of student learning. The most powerful strategy for improving teaching and learning is creating the collaborative culture and collective responsibility of a professional learning community. The effort to improve schools through tougher supervision and evaluation is doomed to fail, the authors note, because it asks the wrong question. The question isn’t, How can I do a better job of monitoring teaching? but, How can we collectively do a better job of monitoring student learning?”

Hesbol, K. A. (2019). Principal self-efficacy and learning organizations: Influencing school improvement. International Journal of Educational Leadership Preparation, 14(1), 33–51. Retrieved from

From the ERIC abstract: “One key characteristic of high-performing schools is how they function organizationally, enabling them to enact reforms effectively and to deal with regular organizational ambiguity and chaos. The principal plays a pivotal role in developing a school culture that supports high-performing schools. This research studies the relationship between principal self-efficacy and a principal’s perception of her school as a learning organization. We examined specific subcategories of learning organization attitudes and behaviors to determine whether principals consider distinct organizational behaviors a proxy for indicators of a learning organization, and whether that was related to their self-efficacy. The findings indicate that principals must be highly efficacious to persuade others to perform at high levels, and must have a strong belief in teachers and the organization as a whole to pursue the types of school improvement efforts and research-based organizational learning mechanisms that can improve student performance.”

Hollingworth, L., Olsen, D., Asikin-Garmager, A., & Winn, K. M. (2018). Initiating conversations and opening doors: How principals establish a positive building culture to sustain school improvement efforts. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 46(6), 1014–1034. Retrieved from

From the ERIC abstract: “This multiple case study examined the role of four US state-recognized high-quality principals in the implementation of change initiatives in their Midwestern schools. Participants were selected based on nomination by the state department of education and district superintendents. The research question guiding the study was: how do principals promote positive school culture to support the implementation of change initiatives? Specifically, the study explored how principals engage staff to create a positive learning environment and how their influence on organizational culture changes classroom practice. Organizational culture and change theories served as the lenses for analysis. Three salient leadership practices of successful principals emerged during data analysis: great principals manage the implementation of multiple initiatives by (1) empowering teachers by cultivating trust, (2) knowing their staff well, and (3) engaging in explicit and purposeful communication.”

Note: REL Midwest was unable to locate a link to the full-text version of this resource. Although REL Midwest tries to provide publicly available resources whenever possible, it was determined that this resource may be of interest to you. It may be found through university or public library systems.

Klar, H. W., & Brewer, C. A. (2013). Successful leadership in high-needs schools: An examination of core leadership practices enacted in challenging contexts. Educational Administration Quarterly, 49(5), 768–808. Retrieved from

From the ERIC abstract: “Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the ways principals in three high-needs middle schools enacted core leadership practices in concert with their immediate contexts to institutionalize comprehensive school reforms and support student learning. Research Methods: The schools were selected from a geographically stratified sample of public middle schools in a state in the southeastern United States. Multiple linear regression was used to identify schools performing better than expected considering their levels of poverty and other school-related factors. The final three schools, one from each geographic region, showed steady increases in academic achievement and school climate following the arrival of their principals. Data were primarily collected from interviews with principals, teaching and nonteaching staff, and parents using protocols adapted from the International Successful School Principalship Project. Findings: The findings explicate the large degree to which the leadership practices and beliefs that influenced student achievement in these schools were adapted to and commensurate with each school’s immediate context. Furthermore, they illustrate how principals used these practices to institutionalize school-wide reform efforts as vehicles for leading change within their schools. Implications: The findings substantiate research on successful school leadership in high-needs middle schools. They also extend this research by examining the way core transformational and instructional leadership practices can be adapted to suit various school contexts and institutionalize school-wide reform efforts to enhance student learning. Further research is required to understand how principals decide to adapt their leadership practices, and how aspiring leaders can best learn to do so.”

Note: REL Midwest was unable to locate a link to the full-text version of this resource. Although REL Midwest tries to provide publicly available resources whenever possible, it was determined that this resource may be of interest to you. It may be found through university or public library systems.

Lewis, J., Asberry, J., DeJarnett, G., & King, G. (2016). The best practices for shaping school culture for instructional leaders. Alabama Journal of Educational Leadership, 3, 57–63. Retrieved from

From the ERIC abstract: “School culture is the belief and attitude influencing every aspect of how a school functions. Culture shared by all school stakeholders makes the actualization of both short-and long-term objectives easier. In this context, the best practices for shaping school culture for professional educators are personal mastery, team learning, and building a shared vision (Hall & Hord, 2015). Instructional leaders can use school culture as a tool to influence and lead by establishing coordination among employees, having a direct impact on student achievement.”

Redding, S., & Corbett, J. (2018). Shifting school culture to spark rapid improvement: A quick start guide for principals and their teams. Sacramento, CA: Center on School Turnaround at WestEd. Retrieved from

From the ERIC abstract: “The Center on School Turnaround (CST) has identified four levers, or domains, for dramatic change to rapidly improve schools: (1) turnaround leadership; (2) talent development; (3) instructional transformation; and (4) culture shift (CST, 2017). These levers are highly integrated—the only way for each to succeed is to ensure that all four are enacted and aligned. Yet each requires an understanding of the unique knowledge, skills, and tools required for its enactment. This paper focuses on Domain 4, culture shift—what it means, why it is essential for rapid improvement in a school, and—critically—how to move a school from a negative culture to a positive one that fosters student learning and success. A school’s culture is a powerful force that will work for or against improvement efforts. A school with persistent and chronic low achievement has, almost by definition, spiraled into a negative culture that contributes to and is worsened by its failures. Rapid improvement, then, requires culture shift, an enterprise that requires changes in mindsets, norms, and attitudes and is as difficult and uncertain as it is essential. In this paper, the authors address the nature of that challenge. They define what they mean by school culture and differentiate between the school’s culture and the variety of cultural influences students and teachers bring with them to the school. Throughout, the authors emphasize that the unrelenting focus of a successful school’s culture is student instruction and learning. They address why, in particular, that means ensuring that everyday school and classroom practices substantively respond to, rather than ignore or simplistically acknowledge, students’ home and family cultures. Finally, the authors offer steps schools can take to prepare for culture shift and a tool that can help launch and guide the change process.”

Ross, D. J., & Cozzens, J. A. (2016). The principalship: Essential core competencies for instructional leadership and its impact on school climate. Journal of Education and Training Studies, 4(9), 162–176. Retrieved from

From the ERIC abstract: “The purpose of this quantitative study was to investigate teachers’ perceptions of principals’ leadership behaviors influencing the schools’ climate according to Green’s (2010) ideologies of the 13 core competencies within the four dimensions of principal leadership. Data from the ‘Leadership Behavior Inventory’ (Green, 2014) suggest 314 teachers perceive that 13 core competencies positively influence school climate through effective leadership. Teachers’ perceptions of principals exhibiting the 13 core competencies suggested that professionalism ranked as the most prevalent behavior among principals. A multiple regression analysis determined public teachers perceived that diversity, one of the 13 core competencies that involve principals respecting the ideas of others and eliminating biases, had the greatest impact on school climate. An independent sample t-test revealed that 11 of the 13 core competencies were statistically significant among private and public teachers’ perceptions, but a Bonferroni adjustment determined that only five core competencies were significant. Further analyses revealed that there was no statistically significant evidence to support teachers’ perceptions of school climate differing between private and public schools.”

Rouleau, K. (2018). Curiosity works: Moving your school from improvement to innovation. Denver, CO: McREL International. Retrieved from

From the ERIC abstract: “Based on McREL International’s research and experience, this white paper suggests that student curiosity is a powerful driver of student success and engagement. The most powerful changes that can be made within schools must come from the inside out, from the natural curiosity and intrinsic motivation that everyone shares to experience the joy of learning, discovery, and improvement. This paper provides a guide for school leadership teams to create learning environments that unleash student curiosity. After looking at how to commit to shared values, moral purpose, and vision, the paper focuses on five phases of program development: (1) Create hopeful urgency (What is the school doing right, and what must be done better?); (2) Focus on teaching and learning (How can the team help people transform professional practice?); (3) Support professional learning and collaboration (How can participants change together?); (4) Develop consistent, deep practice (How can the team help others with the difficulties of change?); and (5) Build a purposeful community (How is the culture of inquiry developing?).”

Sebastian, J., & Allensworth, E. (2012). The influence of principal leadership on classroom instruction and student learning: A study of mediated pathways to learning. Educational Administration Quarterly, 48(4), 626–663. Retrieved from

From the ERIC abstract: “Purpose: This study examines the influence of principal leadership in high schools on classroom instruction and student achievement through key organizational factors, including professional capacity, parent-community ties, and the school’s learning climate. It identifies paths through which leadership explains differences in achievement and instruction between schools and differences in instruction among teachers within the same school. Research Design: Multilevel structural equation modeling was used to examine the relationships among principal leadership, school organizational structures, classroom instruction, and student grades and test gains on ACT’s Education Planning and Assessment System. Measures of principal leadership and school organizational structures were collected from teacher surveys administered to all high school teachers in Chicago Public Schools in the 2006-2007 school years. Findings: Within schools, variation in classroom instruction is associated with principal leadership through multiple pathways, the strongest of which is the quality of professional development and coherence of programs. Between schools, differences in instruction and student achievement are associated with principal leadership only via the learning climate. This suggests that in high schools, establishing a safe, college-focused climate may be the most important leadership function for promoting achievement schoolwide.”

Sebastian, J., & Allensworth, E. (2019). Linking principal leadership to organizational growth and student achievement: A moderation mediation analysis. Teachers College Record, 121(9), 1–32. Retrieved from

From the ERIC abstract: “Background: Although there is a substantial body of literature on school leadership and its relationship with student achievement, few studies have examined how change in leadership is related to organizational growth and school improvement. Also less well studied is the influence of contextual conditions on how leadership and organizational processes evolve to constrain/augment school outcomes. Focus of Study: In this study, we use moderation mediation analysis to examine how change in principal leadership relates to achievement growth, mediated via change in multiple organizational processes—parent-teacher trust, school climate (measured by school safety), and professional capacity. We further examine how these mediational relationships are moderated by initial school conditions. Research Design: We apply moderation mediation analysis to administrative and survey data of elementary schools from a large urban school district to examine if initial school conditions moderate mediational relationships between school leadership and student outcomes. Conclusions: Our results show that improvements in school leadership are related to student learning gains only through improvements in school climate; this relationship is consistent regardless of whether schools initially had strong or weak leadership and regardless of whether schools initially had safe or unsafe school climates.”

Note: REL Midwest was unable to locate a link to the full-text version of this resource. Although REL Midwest tries to provide publicly available resources whenever possible, it was determined that this resource may be of interest to you. It may be found through university or public library systems.

Smith, T. K., Connolly, F., & Pryseski, C. (2014). Positive school climate: What it looks like and how it happens. Nurturing positive school climate for student learning and professional growth. Baltimore, MD: Baltimore Education Research Consortium. Retrieved from

From the ERIC abstract: “The term ‘school climate’ has been around for more than a hundred years to explore the idea of school environmental or contextual factors that might have an impact on student learning and academic success. During the past three decades there has been growing research to support the importance of a positive school climate in promoting academic achievement, school safety, dropout prevention, teacher retention, healthy social interactions, and well-being (Cohen, 2010; Dynarski, Clarke, Cobb, Finn, Rumberger, & Smink, 2008). Although school climate has been studied for a long time, researchers have yet to develop a common definition. Most often cited, however, is a definition developed by the National School Climate Center (NSCC): ‘School climate refers to the quality and character of school life. School climate is based on patterns of students’, parents’ and school personnel’s experience of school life and reflects norms, goals, values, interpersonal relationships, teaching and learning practices, and organizational structures. A sustainable, positive school climate fosters youth development and learning necessary for a productive, contributing and satisfying life in a democratic society’ (retrieved from the NSCC website November 26, 2013). The purpose of this report is to describe how principals, staff, and students in five schools have made deliberate attempts to improve their school climate. Data were collected through observations, focus groups, and interviews during the spring of 2013. Through this report, the authors answer the following research questions: (1) What factors most influence a school’s climate, from the perspective of the students, teachers, and staff? (2) What strategies or practices can a school adopt? and (3) How does a principal intentionally create a positive school climate?”

TNTP. (2012). Greenhouse schools: How schools can build cultures where teachers and students thrive. Brooklyn, NY: Author. Retrieved from

From the ERIC abstract: “Successful teachers make successful schools. Yet some schools are better than others at accelerating student learning by developing and keeping great teachers, even compared to schools that serve the same population of students and have access to the same resources. These schools are called ‘greenhouse schools’—schools with carefully fostered cultures that help teachers and students reach greater heights. What are they doing differently? The short answer is that greenhouse schools accomplish what others only claim to do: they prioritize great teaching above all else. That’s TNTP’s conclusion after surveying more than 4,800 teachers in almost 250 schools across the country over the past two years. Although other surveys have helped describe certain elements of school culture, TNTP’s researchers focused on two questions that they felt had not yet been answered: What kind of school culture is most likely to increase retention of the best teachers and improve student learning? And what concrete steps can principals take to create that culture in their own schools? This paper explains what the researchers have learned from greenhouse schools across the country, and how principals can put those lessons to use in their own schools right now.”

Tosh, K., & Doss, C. J. (2020). Perceptions of school leadership: Implications for principal effectiveness (RR-2575/5-BMGF). Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation. Retrieved from Full text available from

From the ERIC abstract: “Effective principal leadership practices improve school organization, teaching, and student achievement outcomes. These practices include framing and communicating a school’s goals and mission, creating shared expectations of high performance, clarifying roles and objectives, and promoting professional development. However, research demonstrates that teachers tend to rate principals lower on important leadership practices than principals rate themselves, and this mismatch in perception could have negative consequences. Numerous studies in the fields of human resources and organizational management reveal that leader self-awareness—when leader self-perception is in agreement with what subordinates perceive—is directly related to leadership effectiveness. The degree to which leaders rate themselves more highly than do subordinates correlates with diminished organizational outcomes, including reduced subordinate job satisfaction and productivity. Specific to education, negative teacher perception of school leadership correlates with teacher burnout and reduced teacher collaboration. We used data from the RAND Corporation’s web-based American Educator Panels to gather nationally representative evidence of whether perceptions of school leadership practices vary by educator position. We find that principals almost universally rate themselves as effective, but a minority of teachers disagree. Key Findings: Principals rate themselves highly, teachers slightly less positive. Over 98 percent of principals stated that they communicate a clear vision for their schools, set high standards for teaching, and make clear to staff expectations for meeting instructional goals. Eighty-four percent of teachers agreed that principals set high expectations for teaching, 77 percent agreed that principals had clear expectations, and 79 percent agreed that principals communicated clear visions for their schools. These disparities suggest that a significant minority of teachers do not agree with principals’ self-perceptions, highlighting potential barriers to a cohesive school culture. Recommendations: More research needs to be done to explore gaps in the perception of leadership within a school, whether these disparities extend to indicators of principal leadership other than those discussed here, the causes of these gaps, and the implications of these gaps in perception between principals and teachers. Principals could consider adopting 360-degree reviews to better understand disparities in teacher and principal perceptions of leadership practices and use the results to guide reflective organizational improvement.”

Additional Organizations to Consult

National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments (NCSSLE) –

From the website: “The National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments (NCSSLE) offers information and technical assistance to States, districts, schools, institutions of higher learning, and communities focused on improving school climate and conditions for learning. We believe that with the right resources and support, educational stakeholders can collaborate to sustain safe, engaging and healthy school environments that support student academic success.”

National School Climate Center –

From the website: “We measure and improve the climate for learning in schools. The National School Climate Center promotes safe, supportive learning environments that nurture social and emotional, civic, and academic growth for all students.”


Keywords and Search Strings

The following keywords and search strings were used to search the reference databases and other sources:

  • Principals “school culture”

  • “school culture”

Databases and Search Engines

We searched ERIC for relevant resources. ERIC is a free online library of more than 1.6 million citations of education research sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). Additionally, we searched IES and Google Scholar.

Reference Search and Selection Criteria

When we were searching and reviewing resources, we considered the following criteria:

  • Date of the publication: References and resources published over the last 15 years, from 2005 to present, were included in the search and review.

  • Search priorities of reference sources: Search priority is given to study reports, briefs, and other documents that are published or reviewed by IES and other federal or federally funded organizations.

  • Methodology: We used the following methodological priorities/considerations in the review and selection of the references: (a) study types—randomized control trials, quasi-experiments, surveys, descriptive data analyses, literature reviews, policy briefs, and so forth, generally in this order, (b) target population, samples (e.g., representativeness of the target population, sample size, volunteered or randomly selected), study duration, and so forth, and (c) limitations, generalizability of the findings and conclusions, and so forth.
This memorandum is one in a series of quick-turnaround responses to specific questions posed by educational stakeholders in the Midwest Region (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin), which is served by the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL Midwest) at American Institutes for Research. This memorandum was prepared by REL Midwest under a contract with the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES), Contract ED-IES-17-C-0007, administered by American Institutes for Research. Its content does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of IES or the U.S. Department of Education nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.