National Center on Scaling Up Effective Schools

2012 Conference

Achieving Success at Scale: Research on Effective High Schools. The National Center on Scaling Up Effective Schools’ first national conference was held on June 10-12 in Nashville, TN. 

The National Center on Scaling Up Effective Schools held its first national conference on identifying practices of highly effective high schools and the process of scaling up those practices. In keeping with the center’s mission, which is to develop, implement, and evaluate processes to scale up effective high school practices, the purpose of the conference was to bring together empirical research on the policies, practices, and processes that are related to positive student outcomes, including achievement, high school graduation, and college access, particularly for low income, racial minority, and English language learner student populations. The keynote speaker was Russell Rumberger, author of Dropping Out: Why Students Drop Out of High School and What Can Be Done About It, published by Harvard University Press at


2012 Conference Program.

Materials from the conference papers can be accessed below.

Introduction: Welcome and Guiding Framework for NCSU

Camilla Benbow, Dean, Peabody College of Education and Human Development, Vanderbilt University

Thomas Smith, Director, National Center on Scaling Up Effective Schools, NCSU, Vanderbilt University


Panel 1:  Effective High Schools:  Insights from the National Center on Scaling Up Effective Schools 

Chair: Marisa Cannata, NCSU, Vanderbilt University

Conceptualizing Essential Components of Effective High SchoolsCourtney Preston, Ellen Goldring, J. Edward Guthrie & Russell Ramsey, Vanderbilt University[1]

Systematic Use of Data in Schools- Evidence from the National Center on Scaling up Effective Schools; Lora Cohen-Vogel & Christopher Harrison, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Differences in Instructional Quality between High and Low Value Added Schools; Thomas Smith, Katherine Taylor Haynes, Courtney Preston, Bruce Vineyard, Karin Katterfeld & Laura Neergaard, Vanderbilt University

Explaining Effectiveness- An In-depth Exploration of Personalization for Social and Academic Learning; Stacey Rutledge, Florida State University; Lora Cohen-Vogel, University of North Caroline at Chapel Hill; La’Tara Osborne-Lampkin, Florida State University; & Ronnie Roberts, Florida State University

Discussant: Russ Rumberger, University of California, Office of the President, and UC Santa Barbara

[1]Unless otherwise noted, all authors listed on a single paper are from the same institution).


Panel 2:   Measuring High School Effectiveness  

Chair: Tom Smith, Vanderbilt University

A Sequential Binary Probit Dropout Model:   Addressing the Unique Challenges of Identifying the Effectiveness of High Schools,E. Isil Ozturk, Hee Kim, Rob Meyer, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Shifting Trends in High School Measures:  from End-of-Grade to End-of-Course Exams; E. Isil Ozturk, Hee Kim, Rob Meyer, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Selecting High and Low-Performing High Schools in Broward County Florida for Analysis and TreatmentTim R. Sass, Georgia State University

Discussant: Gary Henry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Moderated Discussion 

Understanding the Successes and Challenges of Implementing Effective Practices in High Schools:  District Leader Perspectives on the Benefits of a Research Collaboration

Dr. Leontine Butler, Broward County Public Schools

Dan Traeger, Broward County Public Schools

Enid Valdez, Broward County Public Schools

Robert Rodosky, Jefferson County Public Schools

Moderator:  Joseph Murphy, Vanderbilt University


Panel 3:   Evaluations of High School Reform Models 1

Chair: La’Tara Osborne-Lampkin, Florida State University

Easing the Transition to High School- Effects of a Freshman Academy on Student SuccessClara G. Muschkin & Kara L. Bonneau, Duke University

Can High Schools Be Turned Around? Impacts of State Led Turnaround on Student Achievement, Graduation and Absenteeism; Gary T. Henry, Roderick A. Rose & Shanyce L. Campbell, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

School Turnaround through Scaffolded CraftsmanshipCharles Thompson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Does Small High School Reform Lift Urban Districts? Evidence from NYCLeanna Stiefel, Matthew Wiswall, Amy Ellen Schwartz & Elizabeth Debraggio, New York University

Discussant: Marisa Cannata, Vanderbilt University


Panel 4:   Evaluations of High School Reform Models 2  

Chair: Katherine Taylor Haynes, Vanderbilt University

Creating and Sustaining Secondary Schools’ Success at Scale- Sandfields, Cwmtawe, and the Neath-Port Talbot Local Education Authority’s High Reliability Schools ReformSamuel C. Stringfield, University of Louisville*, David Reynolds, University of Southampton, U.K. & Eugene Schaffer, University of Maryland-Baltimore County

*Samuel Stringfield is now the Director of the School of Education at the University of Cincinnati

Mutual Adaptation in Action- The Case of IB Scaling Up in Title I SchoolsLeslie Santee Siskin, Institute for Education and Social Policy, New York University

New York City’s Small High Schools- The Successes, Challenges, and Strategies of 25 Effective, New SchoolsWilliam H. Marinell & Adriana Villavicencio, Research Alliance for New York City Schools, New York University

Implications for Scaling Up Advanced Course Offerings and Takings- Evidence from Florida, Patrice Iatarola, Florida State University

Examination of risks in implementing learner-centered curricula, Gina Ikemoto, New Leaders; Jennifer Steele, John F. Pane & Dahlia Lichter, RAND

Discussant: Don Peurach, University of Michigan


John Easton, Director,  Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education

Keynote Address by 
Russ Rumberger, Vice Provost, University of California, Office of the President, and Professor of 
Education, University of California, Santa Barbara



Panel 5:  Scaling Up High School Reform Models

Chair: Lora Cohen-Vogel, NCSU, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Taking Teacher Professional Development to Scale- A Case of Three Intermediary Organizations; Meg Riordan, Expeditionary Learning; Emily Klein, Montclair State University & Reva Jaffe-Walter, The City University of New York

Large Scale High School Reform through School Improvement Networks: Examining Possibilities for Developmental Evaluation; Donald J. Peurach, University of Michigan & Sarah Winchell Lenhoff, Michigan State University

Improving Postsecondary Outcomes for Low Income Students: Scaling-up the College Ambition ProgramBarbara Schneider, Justina Judy, Christopher Khawand & Kri Burkander, Michigan State University

Scaling up STEM Academies Statewide: Implementation, Network Support and Early OutcomesViki Young, Ann House, David Shere & Corrine Singleton, SRI International

Discussant: Tom Smith, Vanderbilt University


Panel 6:  Lessons Learned from the Field 

Chair:  Laura Williams, Fort Worth Independent School District

Designing for Scale Up: A Capacity Building Model; Cheryl King,Tom Haferd, Eliza Fabilar, Maria-Paz Avery & Shai Fuxman, Education Development Center, Inc.

Tools for Improvement in Under-Performing High Schools: A Research-Based Model in PracticeKristen Campbell Wilcox, Janet Ives Angelis and Nancy Andress, University at Albany

Scaling 21st Century School Success: Accountability for Training, Model Fidelity and College Readiness; Kristin Cuilla, Patrick Lee, Lydia Dobyns, Chris Walsh & Hillary Fernandes, New Tech Network; Presenter:  Paul Buck, New Tech Network

Creating, Scaling, and Sustaining Innovative High School ModelsHeather Zavadsky, Reo Pruiett & Alma Garcia, Texas High School Project

Discussant:  Joe Murphy, Vanderbilt University


Summary Discussion:  What Have We Learned?

Discussants: Adam Gamoran, University of Wisconsin-Madison and Ron Ferguson, Harvard University