Case Studies

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Pontiac School District
Teaching, Leading & Learning

In 2016, the Michigan State Reform Office informed Oakland Schools they had 45 days to provide “credible evidence that Pontiac High School is on-track to meaningful improvement” to avoid closure. Oakland Schools’ Supervisor of Leadership and School Improvement engaged IRRE to provide intensive curricular, instructional and leadership supports to Pontiac High School and to generate this credible evidence. Pontiac High School did not close. IRRE now works with these partners to convert short-term progress into sustained improvement.

Douglas County, Oregon
Measuring What Matters

In 2013, The Ford Family Foundation in Roseburg, Oregon contacted IRRE to help them think about how to engage with public education stakeholders in their rural communities. We suggested the Foundation reach out to rural educators with support from IRRE to help them gather and look at information to more deeply understand their students’ and teachers’ accomplishments and challenges. Education and Foundation leaders praise the credibility and usefulness of the IRRE-provided results.

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Oakland Public Schools (OR)
Teaching, Leading & Learning

In 2015, the superintendent of Oakland Public Schools in rural Oregon requested IRRE work with the high school math department on aligning curriculum and assessment materials with Common Core State Standards. This work led to a broader discussion with district and building leaders and full faculty. As a result of the first year of full implementation of Curriculum and Instructional Benchmarking in all core areas, I Can student learning targets are posted daily in over 90% of classrooms, formative and summative unit assessments are written with a higher level of complexity than previous years, and observers report the implementation of new instruction strategies and students have greater opportunities for re-teaching.


Skillman Foundation
Measuring What Matters

In 2011, this Detroit-based Foundation was in the fifth year of a ten-year, $100M commitment to improve outcomes for Detroit’s children and youth. They asked IRRE to conduct an analytic review of the Foundation’s investments in education up to that point. IRRE continues to strengthen the Foundation’s capacity to use education data to generate insights and inform their initiatives for improving children’s outcomes.

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Lassen Union High School District
Teaching, Leading & Learning

In Spring 2014, Lassen Union High School District in rural California engaged IRRE as its turnaround partner. We have worked with teachers to develop a guaranteed and viable curriculum through implementation of Curriculum & Instructional Benchmarking and with building and district leadership around instructional improvement. In our first two years together, performance on statewide accountability assessments now approaches the state average in English and Mathematics.


Boys & Girls Club of America
Measuring What Matters

BGCA came to IRRE and our partner Youth Development Strategies, Inc. (YDSI) in 2014. They wanted to have results from their annual survey more powerfully inform their clubs’ work and their investors’ understanding of young people’s club experience. We went to work on providing stronger questions to ask and better ways to look at results. We are now helping BGCA develop metrics to assess their impacts as well.

What Our Clients Are Saying


Carol Anthony

Secondary Turn-Around Director, Van Dyke Public Schools
"IRRE’s Measuring What Matters program (Effective Practices in the Classroom) is a game changer. Administrators, after intense calibration training, walk though classrooms with an entirely new lens. The tool allows you to collect data of what is happening with students rather than focusing solely on the teacher’s instructional moves. The data gathered has allowed our teachers to have in-depth dialogue about what works for our students."

Joi Danforth

Teacher, Harper Woods High School
"The power 12 strategies serve as a tool to help students’ process information and arrive at a conclusion on their own. When used consistently, they really are powerful!"
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Timothy Jones

Social Studies teacher, Ecorse High School
"Through the CIB process, teachers are able to really dig into their content. By building assessments geared towards comprehensive instruction, teachers can compose cohesive units, [and] fully participate in the process with the ability to research new and engaging content resources. Teachers are able to open up the box of engaging curriculum to increase student engagement. The CIB process gives the flexibility to explore."

Clarence D. Armbrister

President, Girard College, Philadelphia, PA
"IRRE has been an invaluable resource and partner as we implement a “standards based” curriculum at Girard College. Their experience, insight and guidance have been particularly helpful to our faculty, administrators and other stakeholders, including parents and students, as we implement the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Our partnership began at a time when the College was undergoing it’s reaccreditation with Middle States Accreditation Association. From my perspective, I do not know if we could have successfully completed our review without the help, assistance and guidance of IRRE. We were able to demonstrate to our reviewers that we have a thoughtful and feasible plan to improve the outcomes of our students."

Daniel E. Gilbertson

Principal, Madison High School
"IRRE utilizes experienced leaders in the education field who provide a wealth of knowledge in educational reform in order to assist and support school districts to achieve academic success for each student. Simply, as educational partners, they effectively use data and the latest proven research to help schools reach exemplary performance for all students."

Ray Daniels

Fmr. Superintendent, Kansas City Kansas Public Schools
"If you are in an urban area where kids are failing, you can’t tweak the system. It is going to require dramatic changes, and the nerve and courage to stick with it. IRRE gave us focus."
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Kelly Garris

Literacy Coach, Pasadena, CA & Ecorse High School
"IRRE’s Coaching supports recognize that instructional coaching is a skill and requires development of a new set of practices. They do not fall prey to the notion that just because you are an extremely effective teacher you will automatically be an effective coach. They support new coaches through a series of learning opportunities and modeling that build not only the skills but the credibility needed to truly support one’s peers."

Gary Van Landingham

Teacher, Lassen High School
"I have appreciated the training I have received with IRRE. I have been a teacher for 22 years and learning the Measuring What Matters (Effective Practices in the Classroom) protocol has made me a better classroom teacher and has also given me objective standards to use when I observe other teachers in my department which is now part of my role as department chairperson."