Seattle Public Schools

Research and Evaluation

Reports and Briefs

The Department of Research and Evaluation maintains a portfolio of novel, mixed-methods research, program evaluations, quantitative studies, as well as qualitative and participatory efforts aligned to the strategic plan and priority goals. Visit the Curriculum and Instruction division webpage for more information curricula adoptions and current strategies.

Advanced Learning and Student Success Report

Advanced Learning and Student Success Report, 2017

This investigation includes a descriptive analysis of Advanced Learning (AL) programming, an inquiry into practices that support academic growth in AL students and a literature review. Findings suggest a need for:

  1. deeper project-based instruction;
  2. differentiation techniques for mixed ability classroom;
  3. use of common assessments to support instructional decision-making;
  4. increased use of technology to support personalized, adaptive learning;
  5. promoting inclusive school cultures and
  6. MTSS system that includes strategies for AL students.

District Scorecards

District Scorecards

These annual summaries of district-wide performance on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) selected for of the 2019-2024 District Strategic Plan, Seattle Excellence. These reports/School Board presentations cover standard views of each established student KPI, with a targeted focus on our Strategic Plan priority student groups: African American Males and Students of Color Furthest from Educational Justice.

Deepening practices for student and family voices

Deepening practices for student and family voices

The student, family and educator co-design processes outlined in this brief ​and research report are from the Early Literacy Collaborative by Seattle Public Schools’ Office of African American Achievement (AAMA). AAMA’s Early Literacy Collaborative (ELC) focused on two elementary schools and set out to center justice-focused approaches in identity-affirming, culturally aligned learning environments, as defined by Black students and families. The research report and initiative brief serve as a process manual for educators committed to cycles of inquiry and impact with students, families, and communities, and the research report documents findings, practices, and artifacts from the effort.

Third Grade Reading Goal

Third Grade Reading Goal, 2020

Reports from the first year of implementation of initiatives associated with the four priority areas within the 3rd Grade Reading Goal. In family and community engagement, findings from educator surveys address how staff are positioning families in their work. Practitioner capacity findings illustrate teacher perceptions of literacy integration and coaching. P-3 assessment portfolio findings detail educator assessment practices and needs. The early learning pathways report illustrates educator and pre-K student experience and enrollment findings.

English Language Arts K-5 Curriculum

English Language Arts K-5 Curriculum, 2020

Findings from a multi-year implementation study of the adoption of Center for the Collaborative Classroom (CCC) as the district’s K-5 ELA curriculum. Year one findings surfaced strengths, opportunities, and recommendations for program growth. Year two findings identified successes alongside growth edges in early literacy, cultural relevance, and assessment alignment. Year three summative findings focus on teacher experience of curriculum adoption and do not include student academic outcomes due to the arrival of the pandemic.

Educator Retention and Culturally Responsive Instruction

Educator Retention and Culturally Responsive Instruction, 2020

This summary report brings together findings addressing questions around strategies that are associated with improved recruitment and retention of educators of color and culturally responsive teaching practice, generated through a multi-year research-practice partnership between Seattle Public Schools and the University of Washington. Retention findings include district-level patterns over time, positive outlier schools, and educator-reported retention factors, and culturally responsive teaching findings include educator self-report on their practice, school supports, and mentoring.

Our Voice Our Vision

Our Voice Our Vision, 2021

This report follows a year-long community engagement effort learning from Black students and families about experiences and recommendations for systems improvement. Students and families offer insights toward achieving the racial equity goals and lays the groundwork for the Office of African American Male Achievement multi-year plan in Seattle Public Schools. The recommended improvements fell within four themes: Learning Environments, Classroom Instruction, Strong Relationships, and Family and Community Engagement.

Family Voice Strategies for Authentic Family Engagement in Survey

Family Voice Strategies for Authentic Family Engagement in Survey, 2020

This research brief supports the improvement of family climate survey processes to ensure centering the voices, participation, and perspectives of families furthest from educational justice. Uplifting a co-designing process, this brief calls for leveraging the positionality of the family engagement team and CBOs, to develop and increase buy-in and engagement with the survey. The final and most important recommendation centers planning for data sharing and prioritizing action steps for incorporating family feedback into district practices.

Mentorship Matters: Evaluation of Kingmakers of Seattle

Mentorship Matters: Evaluation of Kingmakers of Seattle, 2022

Kingmakers of Seattle (KOS) is a Black education-based mentorship program for middle and high school boys and teens of African descent in Seattle Public School (SPS). Participating students take a rigorous Black studies course, receive individual care coordination services, and receive mentorship and leadership development. This brief reviews the program design and the preliminary evaluation provides initial findings about student experiences from a partnership program evaluation.

Supporting On-Time Graduation from 9th Grade

Supporting On-Time Graduation from 9th Grade, 2020

A literature scan and historical trend analyses to inform the development of an Early Warning Indicator System (EWIS) for supporting on-time graduation across 9th grade students.

Graduation and Postsecondary Readiness Initiatives

Graduation and Postsecondary Readiness Initiatives, 2019

A study focused on 2018-19 high school re-visioning initiatives to increase the percentage of students on-track for on-time graduation and improve student postsecondary readiness.

Implementation of Science Curriculum

Implementation of Science Curriculum, 2020

Findings from the first year of a four-year study of instructional materials for elementary science (Amplify Science) and secondary science (Amplify Science and the various adoptions for high school courses). 

Middle School Math Curriculum

Middle School Math Curriculum, 2020

These studies investigate the first two years of the implementation of the middle school math curriculum, enVisionMath2.0. Using a combination of teacher surveys, site visits, and assessment data, these studies explore what can be learned from this implementation to inform this and future district curriculum adoptions and to what extent this instructional material adoption contributes to shift practices in service of student achievement and eliminating opportunity gaps.

Multilingual Learners and ELL Program Report

Multilingual Learners and ELL Program Report, 2019

A report co-developed by Research and Evaluation, central office staff and WestEd that examines strategies and outcomes for English Language Learners (ELL) within the district

Dual Language Immersion Report

Dual Language Immersion Report, 2017

This study examined the implementation and effect of the Dual Language Immersion (DLI) model. Implementation analysis findings identified 5 benefits: 1) written and oral communication in two languages, 2) greater appreciation for other languages and cultures, 3) enhanced career and employment opportunities, 4) improved academic outcomes for multilingual learners, and 5) closing the opportunity gap for students of color.  Impact analysis findings revealed positive effects on achievement for DLI enrolled students with variance by year and subject. 

Remote Learning Student “Pulse” and Climate Survey Report

Remote Learning Student “Pulse” and Climate Survey Report, 2021 Spring

This report summarizes findings from the Spring 2021 school climate and remote learning survey –given to all students in grades 3 to 12. The shift to remote learning caused by the COVID-19 pandemic made it is more important than ever to check in regularly with students across our system, learning how they experience instruction, to then improve resources and instructional practices. This survey and report focused on broad experiences and impacts of the pandemic, student access to (and quality of) remote and hybrid instruction, as well as school climate and culture.

Remote Learning Student “Pulse” Survey Report

Remote Learning Student “Pulse” Survey Report, 2020 Fall

This report summarizes findings from the Fall 2020 remote learning survey –given to all students in grades 3 to 12, all families, and all instructional school staff. The surveys included aligned topics for students, staff and families: Overall, how do you feel about remote learning this fall? 2) How does this compare to last spring? 3) In the last week, have you had any major challenges connecting to remote learning? and 4) What would most help to improve your remote learning experience? Compared to Spring 2020, most families and school staff felt better about remote learning, yet disaggregated student results revealed that African American male students and students of were less likely to feel better about remote learning.

Student Climate Survey Practices for Schoolwide Impact

Student Climate Survey Practices for Schoolwide Impact, 2017

This report investigated districtwide climate survey practices from data use to implementation, asking: What are emerging successful practices and identified needs in the use of interim climate survey data for school improvement? Findings from interviews with school leaders at six schools selected based on student response rates The main findings that emerged from the interviews were a need for additional support from the Central Office to translate the data into concrete actions for schoolwide improvement.

Schools of Promise and Multi-Tiered Systems of Support

Schools of Promise and Multi-Tiered Systems of Support, 2019

An examination of school-based, Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) implementation and the work of Central Office teams that provided support to identified schools for improving MTSS implementation. This mixed methods study summarizes “whole child” lens implementation via district-provided tiered supports, establishments of Professional Learning Communities and concentration on high quality instruction that encourages educators to consider varying factors including students’ wellbeing, academics, and more to increase student outcomes.

About Program Review Process

All studies are conducted in accordance with School Board Policy 2090, which sets forth the requirement that Seattle Public Schools evaluate educational programs and services. The primary goals of the program review process are to:

  1. Provide a rigorous, systematic process for evaluating programs and services;
  2. Produce actionable formative data to improve programs and services provided; and
  3. Improve decision-making by deepening understanding of program design, implementation, outcomes and impacts.