Whole-School Reform is a new model available for School Improvement Grants from the Department of Education. It is an initiative to improve school performance by implementing evidence-based models that are designed to affect the entire school ecosystem.
Whole-School Reform is focused on raising academic achievement by teaching effective academic content, and increasing parental and community involvement. Positive Action has been focused on achieving these goals since its commercial inception in 1982. It leads the industry for evidence-based interventions, with an emphasis on language arts. The program is aligned with current language arts academic standards.
States and their schools now have a unique opportunity to use School Improvement Grants for a Whole-School Reform model implementation of Positive Action. To better support School Improvement Grantees, Positive Action will be offering extended implementation services, which will include its own embedded staff working in tandem with teachers and school leaders. This partnership will also include an innovative sustainability component to ensure that the model continues well after the project ends.
Carol Allred, Ph.D., developer of Positive Action, said she is proud to be working with the School Improvement Grant program. “The School Improvement Grant program is an important part of the Department of Education’s effort to improve under-performing schools. We are thrilled that Congress has created this opportunity for initiating evidence-based programs. We have worked very hard to produce a top-quality program. It’s an honor to be an approved provider.”
Beyond approval for Whole-School Reform, Positive Action recently has garnered other accolades. Two new cost-benefit analyses found that the benefits of Positive Action far outweigh the costs. Some estimates set the cost-benefit ratio as high as 1:143. For every $1 dollar spent on Positive Action, society would receive approximately $143 in benefits from increased income potential and reduced health care costs.
“The overwhelming benefits of implementing Positive Action are hard to ignore,” Allred said. “I started Positive Action in the mid-1970s as a high school teacher because I felt there was a missing piece to the curriculum. I had no idea that by 2015 it would blossom into a program that is now a standard-bearer for evidence-based instruction. I was just trying to help our students.”