School Improvement: Curriculum and Instruction

SRI's education researchers evaluate the design, implementation, and impact of a variety of educational programs designed to improve pedagogy and content learning. These school improvement curriculum and instruction studies are conducted within specific subject areas such as mathematics, science, history, language arts, adult literacy, and arts education, or for specific curricula, such as the International Baccalaureate program.


high school students in a classroom

SRI is studying the implementation and outcomes of a new International Baccalaureate Organization consulting model designed to increase the participation and success of low-income students in IB’s Diploma Programme. SRI is also examining national postsecondary enrollment, persistence, and...

high school students studying together around a table

SRI and partners will address the performance of economically disadvantaged students, American Indian students, English learners, and those receiving special education services.

woman looking at a computer in a computer lab

SRI is evaluating NGC projects funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to understand the technology features and implementation practices that achieve positive educational impacts at scale.

young students standing in a group

To inform California policymakers, SRI examined student access to arts education in California schools and conducted follow-up studies examining factors influencing K-12 arts education. The research resulted in a series of reports.

two students with a teacher

Even after mastering conversational English, English learners often struggle with academic English, negatively impacting their educational outcomes. SRI is conducting a 4-year randomized controlled trial (RCT) to estimate the effectiveness of the Pathway to Academic Success Project, a promising...

four teen students walking together

SRI’s evaluation of the California Academic Partnership Program’s Demonstration Partnership Project will look at the formation and progress of 11 partnerships that aim to establish seamless transitions for all students from high school to postsecondary and strengthen the quality of instruction...

high school students writing at desks in a classroom

Classroom Trials examines teachers’ use of writing software to support writing instruction in classroom settings. The project seeks to identify best practices that combine teachers’ “wisdom of practice” and models of productive writing instruction that capitalize on the capabilities of writing...

group of teachers talking together

SRI’s four-year evaluation of the New Teacher Center’s (NTC’s) i3 validation grant combines cluster randomized controlled trials at two study sites and a difference-in-differences approach at the third site to assess the implementation and impact of NTC’s intensive new teacher mentoring and support.

young girl student working at a computer

SRI is conducting a study of Khan Academy to understand how math teachers are using the online resource in classrooms to improve instruction and student learning.

Press Releases

two girls looking at a butterfly through a magnifying glass

New data from a multi-year evaluation of the nine districts participating in the California Linked Learning District Initiative show both the positive impact Linked Learning has had for students across the state over the past five years, as well as its continued potential. The evaluation was...

high school students working together on a science lab experiment

SRI Education has released new data from a multiyear evaluation of the California Linked Learning District Initiative demonstrating that Linked Learning students are making greater progress toward high school graduation and college eligibility than their peers in traditional high school programs.

students working at computers

SRI International, together with its research collaborators, has been awarded a $12 million Investing in Innovation (i3) grant by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Innovation and Improvement to expand and validate an innovative middle school digital mathematics program in Florida schools.

children in a computer lab

SRI will conduct a study of a new elementary school math curriculum in 52 West Virginia schools. The digital curriculum, created by Reasoning Mind, uses technology to increase student engagement and gives students and teachers instant feedback.


California state policies designed to promote and enhance the effectiveness of beginning teachers fail to match employment realities. Most significantly, beginning teachers often do not get the support they critically need to be effective in the classroom.

School Children

Helios Education Foundation is partnering with SRI by investing $1 million to seed a Center for Digital Learning in St. Petersburg, Florida. The Center will create a portfolio of digital learning projects to enhance student achievement in STEM subjects.

AP science class

New research study will provide the first experimental evidence on the effects of high school students taking an inquiry-based AP science course and whether it impacts educational progress and success in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects.

two students working at a computer

A new report from SRI International's Center for Technology in Learning compares the use of educational technology for K-12 students in 21 countries.

SRI In the News

SRI's evaluation of nine districts statewide that pioneered linked learning programs shows that hands-on experiences linked to college and careers help energize many students and motivates them to graduate high school and go on to college.

Linked learning high school programs hold promise in boosting student engagement and lead to “moderately greater” success in school, but translate to little improvement on standardized tests and struggle to retain special needs and English learner students, according to a new evaluation by SRI...

An SRI Education study finds that in addition to earning more credits and being more confident in their skills, students in the Linked Learning program are also more likely to stay enrolled in their districts through high school, and more likely to experience their instruction as rigorous and...

The Local Control Funding Formula, or LCFF, is designed to give school districts more budget flexibility. It also gives more money to schools with concentrations of low income and non-English speaking students. Districts began using the plan this year. Daniel Humphrey is with SRI International, a...

A new report co-authored by SRI Education's Dan Humphrey concludes that California’s mentoring program for novice teachers, once a national model, has deteriorated due to lack of funding and district commitment, and provides little help for the many new teachers.

The Gates Foundation, one of Khan’s biggest funders, commissioned an SRI study on what works and what barriers exist to effective implementation.

Listen to reporter Stephanie Martin speaking with Daniel Humphrey, director of the Center for Education Policy at SRI International about the difficulty facing new California teachers looking for tenure.


In this research brief, SRI International and Abt Associates examine Springfield Public Schools’ Effective Educator Coach (EEC) program, a comprehensive mentoring program in which experienced teachers support new or struggling teachers. The EEC program was studied as part of a larger evaluation of...

Results from a multi-year evaluation of the Linked Learning District Initiative show promising student outcomes. Compared with similar peers, Linked Learning students earn more credits in the first 3 years of high school, are more likely to be on track at the end of 10th grade to complete courses...

This survey instrument was developed by SRI Education as part of the Research on the Use of Khan Academy in Schools project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

This survey instrument was developed by SRI Education as part of the Research on the Use of Khan Academy in Schools project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

This survey instrument was developed by SRI Education as part of the Research on the Use of Khan Academy in Schools project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

New results from a hierarchical linear model show that students in certified pathways across participating districts earned more credits in the 10th grade and were more likely to be on track to complete the a-g credits needed for college eligibility than similar peers in more traditional programs.

Blog Posts

As Linked Learning—an innovative high school approach that integrates rigorous academics with real-world experiences—continues to gain momentum among educators and policymakers across the state, SRI Education’s Center for Education Policy has released its fifth annual evaluation report on the...

SRI researchers found that when curriculum materials explicitly support the features and practices called for within the new science standards, teachers can implement the standards, and students learn more.

Rural students start high school with fewer math skills than other students and ultimately earn fewer math credits. SRI Education researchers are examining the critical factors in closing this gap in education. The research will help crystalize the approach of a program with promising results.

The future strength of the public school system rests with beginning teachers. Yet, our recent study of beginning teachers and the California policies designed to support and evaluate them found a substantial mismatch between policies’ intentions and the experiences of beginning teachers.