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W. Carl Sumi

Senior Principal Education Researcher, SRI Education

W. Carl Sumi, PhD, manages the Behavior Research group at SRI International. Sumi is principal investigator (PI) of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES)-funded efficacy study of Discipline in the Secondary Classroom, a classroom management curriculum for high school classrooms. He is also the PI for the IES funded study of Foundations, a program to support schoolwide positive discipline and of the effectiveness study of Tools for Getting Along, a social problem-solving intervention for elementary school children. Sumi is PI of Project SECURE, funded by the National Institute of Justice to evaluate a multitiered trauma-informed system in a large urban school district and of the evaluation of the Class-Wide Function-related Intervention Teams program, a classroom management system that improve class-wide engagement during academic instruction funded through the Education Innovation Research program. Recently, Sumi led two other IES-funded efficacy studies on interventions to support students with or at risk for emotional and behavioral disorders (Cognitive-Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools program and Check & Connect) and an effectiveness study of First Step to Success for at-risk early elementary school students. Further, he provided leadership as codirector of the National Behavior Research Coordination Center; the NBRCC coordinated with behavior research centers in conducting randomized controlled trials of interventions for students with severe behavior problems in Grades 1–3.

Sumi started his career as a teacher in self-contained classrooms for students with behavior disorders more than 30 years ago and has been working for and advocating on the behalf of children and families his whole career. Sumi has more than 25 years of experience in designing, conducting, and managing large-scale experimental studies and leads formulation of research designs, recruitment, data collection, and dissemination efforts at SRI. He has contributed to reports and presentations that have made significant contributions to policy and practice in special education, school dropout, and students’ academic achievement, social skills, and problem behavior at the local, state, and national levels. His recent publications appear in the peer-reviewed Asian American Journal of Psychology, Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, School Mental Health, and School Psychology Review.

Key projects

  • A Study of Discipline in the Secondary Classroom: A Positive Approach to Behavior Management
  • Supporting High-Needs Elementary Students with the CW-FIT Program: Building for Scale and Sustainability
  • Project SECURE: Keeping Kids Safe in San Francisco Unified School District
  • Efficacy Study of Foundations, School-wide Positive Discipline for Middle Schools
  • Effectiveness Study of Tools for Getting Along: Teaching Students to Problem Solve Students Exposed to Trauma: A Study of the CBITS Program
  • Efficacy Study of Check & Connect to Improve Student Outcomes
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