CSRQ Center Report on Elementary School CSR Models
Updated November 2006


New: Updated Report! 

The CSRQ Center has updated this report, which was initially released in November 2005. To update the report, the Center reviewed an additional 44 studies on the 22 elementary school comprehensive school reform (CSR) or schoolwide improvement models that were included in the initial report. Based on this review, information or ratings on the following models have changed:

ATLAS Communities

Integrated Thematic Instruction

Accelerated Schools PLUS

Literacy Collaborative

America's Choice School Design

National Writing Project

Coalition of Essential Schools

Pearson Achievement Solutions (formerly Co-nect)

Core Knowledge Program

School Development Program

Direct Instruction

Success For All

First Steps



About this Report

This CSRQ Center Report on Elementary School CSR Models [PDF, 5.1 MB] provides a scientifically based, consumer-friendly review of the effectiveness and quality of 22 widely adopted elementary school comprehensive school reform (CSR) or schoolwide improvement models. Each model is profiled and rated in the following categories:

Category 1: Evidence of positive effects on student achievement.

Category 2: Evidence of positive effects on additional outcomes.

Category 3: Evidence of positive effects on family and community involvement.

Category 4: Evidence of a link between research and model design.

Category 5: Evidence of services and support to schools to enable successful implementation.

The report provides education stakeholders a decision making tool to help them sort through their options regarding the hundreds of elementary school improvement choices available to meet local needs. The reviews are intended to clarify options, not to point to or endorse “best buys” from among the 22 models reviewed. Together, the reviewed models represent a significant portion of the total number of schools implementing elementary school CSR models. Each model serves at minimum 20 elementary schools in a total of at least 3 states, and is available for adoption in almost all states. To learn more about the methodologies used by the CSRQ Center in writing this report, click here.

The complete report is provided in PDF format. Readers may download and reproduce the report in its entirety. Readers may also opt to search the report for information about specific models using the links provided below. This report is available exclusively online.

       Executive Summary [PDF, 905 KB]


       Complete Report [PDF, 5.1MB]

Note: Viewing this report requires Adobe Reader, which is available for free download or upgrade here.

The contents of this report were developed by the Comprehensive School Reform Quality (CSRQ) Center, which is operated by the American Institutes for Research (AIR), under a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The views expressed in this report do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Education, or AIR.


Related Links

CSRQ Center Report on Middle and High School CSR Models This report provides a scientifically-based, consumer-friendly review of the effectiveness and quality of 18 widely adopted middle and high school comprehensive school reform (CSR) or schoolwide improvement models.

CSRQ Center Report on Education Service Providers This report offers a scientifically-based consumer friendly review of the effectiveness and quality of 7 widely adopted Education Service Providers. 

CSRQ Reports Database Use the database to search and compare models reviewed in all CSRQ Center reports, and to download reviews of individual models. This database will also allow you to search models listed in the CSRQ Model Registry.

Enhancing the Participation of Students with Disabilities in CSR Models [PDF, 508 KB] This guide builds off of the CSRQ Center Reports by providing information about specific model features that address the needs of students with disabilities. To access this guide and other resources on CSR, please visit our Resources page.

Moving Forward: A Guide to Selecting and Implementing Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement Strategies [PDF, 494 KB] This guide provides a train-the-trainer workshop on selecting and implementing a school improvement model. To access this guide and other resources on CSR, please visit our Resources page.

CSR Conversation This feature of our Web site offered a forum for readers to engage with CSR Experts who answered reader questions, provided tools and information, and sparked conversations about CSR topics. While you can no longer ask questions of our experts, we maintain the CSR Conversation Archives, a transcript of CSR Conversations since February 2005.


Questions? Comments?

The CSRQ Center welcomes your feedback regarding this report's usefulness in meeting your school improvement needs. Please email your comments regarding the quality, relevance, and usability of this report to [email protected].

Are you having trouble downloading this report? You may be able to correct the problem by downloading the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader here. You may also right-click the report and select "save as" to download. If you are still unable to download the report, please contact us at [email protected].