Proven Results

Independent universities have used rigorous evaluation methods to study NISL’s programs—and have found that they efficiently improve school leadership and raise student achievement at scale.

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Proven Impact

Evidence of Effectiveness in Leadership Development

A RAND Corporation report singles out NISL’s EDP for its positive impact on student achievement based on studies that meet criteria for evidence under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). A report by the George W. Bush Institute finds that NISL’s EDP is the only leadership development program that meets ESSA’s standards of evidence, with independent studies showing improved student achievement in both English language arts and mathematics. NISL is the only organization recognized in both of those reports for evidence of effectiveness in leadership development.

+ 1 Month

NISL led students gain more than a month of learning

A rigorous, quasi-experimental research study in 2011 by Johns Hopkins and Old Dominion universities evaluated 38 elementary and middle schools in Massachusetts that were led by NISL trained principals. “The results indicated that the NISL-led schools achieved statistically significantly higher student achievement in both mathematics and ELA versus the comparison group. The effect size was .14 in math and .11 in ELA. This translates into an average of more than a month of additional learning for all students in the 38 schools versus what would have been expected without the NISL EDP intervention.” Read the case study.

+ 9.48%

Increase in PA schools’ proficiency rates

Pennsylvania 2011 (101 schools): A scientifically rigorous study compared student achievement gains in schools with NISL-trained principals with those of comparison schools that were matched in initial performance and demographic factors. Statistically significant student achievement gains were found in both English language arts and mathematics at all school levels. Proficiency in math at the high school level, a particularly hard-to-impact segment, grew an astounding 9.48%. The researchers concluded: “The results of this study represent highly promising evidence that the NISL Executive Development Program for School Leaders results in statistically significant, substantial, and sustained improvements in student performance in reading and mathematics, particularly in the challenging context of secondary schools. This is particularly noteworthy given that the program is highly cost-effective” (Old Dominion, Johns Hopkins 2011). Read the case study.

1/10th Cost

NISL achieves same achievement gains at one tenth the cost

The 2011 Massachusetts study by Johns Hopkins and Old Dominion universities compared the effect sizes achieved by NISL to school improvement models. “The effect size is quite large when compared to results observed in similar studies such as comprehensive school reform effects or Title 1 program effects. … The effect size measured in this study of the NISL EDP, which applies to the entire student population at a school, was achieved for about $4,000 per school.” Though not covered in the report, the effect sizes are also comparable to the most expensive and well-publicized school leadership professional development models, but the efficiencies gained from the NISL train-the-trainer model allow for 5 to 10 times as many schools to be reached at the same cost. Request the study.

120 Schools

NISL increased proficiency in math and literacy assessments

A new, three-year study of Milwaukee (WI) Public Schools from Johns Hopkins and Old Dominion Universities has found that students in schools led by principals who graduated from the NISL Executive Development Program (EDP) outperformed their peers in math and literacy on state assessments. The researchers estimated that in the 24 schools studied with NISL-trained principals, 377 more students achieved math proficiency and 289 more achieved reading proficiency than comparable peers. Read the case study.

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