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Research Studies of NISL's Impact

In 2011, Johns Hopkins and Old Dominion universities conducted research to study NISL’s programs in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.  Their results found that students in schools led by NISL-trained principals outperformed their peers at matched schools in both math and English language arts (ELA) as demonstrated on state tests:








“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.”


“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.”

In addition to Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, NISL trained middle and high school principals in Duval County Public Schools, Florida.  A study conducted by The Broad Foundation in 2006 regarding the Florida training found that student achievement had improved “dramatically” and that schools led by NISL-trained principals raised proficiency faster and closed gaps more than comparison schools in 62 percent of the middle schools and 83 percent of the high schools.


Additional information about these studies may be found at

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