Our Approach

Research Base

Based in Research

The great strength of the Success for All approach is that all our methods are based on proven research, ensuring that schools have effective strategies to help students realize their learning potential.

SFAF was founded to increase reading achievement among disadvantaged students and prepare teachers to support the needs of English learners. In the 1980s, John Hopkins University researchers Robert Slavin, Nancy Karweit and Nancy Madden undertook a review of the practices found effective in preventing early school failure. This would become the basis of the SFA model.

The key research elements include: cooperative learning as the best way to engage and motivate students, using quarterly assessments to monitor student progress, stopping students from falling behind with one-on-one tutoring, and engaging student families in the learning process.

Since then SFAF has continued to use new research findings to refine and continuously improve the program. We have, for example, introduced enhanced coaching, conflict-resolution and reading strategies, as well as offering multimedia tools in phonic instruction and developing leadership academies to improve school guidance skills.

Since SFA was launched in 1986, its methodologies have been validated in more than 30 independent studies – showing that student reading achievement could be made a replicable outcome.

These include a three-year randomized control trial – the “gold standard” of research – funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Students in SFA schools achieved at significantly higher levels than similar students in control schools. The difference in only three years was enough to cut the black-white achievement gap in half. (Borman, Slavin, Cheung, Chamberlain, Madden, and Chambers 2007)

Click here to see state data reports on SFA schools.