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Evidence of Effectiveness
Customer Report

Celebrating the successes of schools, districts an states

Solution Tree is excited to share with you evidence of school improvement across the country. Each quarter we will highlight research and provide both qualitative and quantitative data showcasing the results of our products and services in improving educator growth and student learning. Whether it is a quote from a teacher on how a new learned practice reinvigorated them on their educational journey or it is state data showing growth in PLC at Work schools over schools who have yet to initiate the process, there is so much we look forward to sharing and celebrating with you.


Customer Success Stories

Shaking hands

White River School District, Buckley, Washington

In March 2024, 35 educators from the Philippines visited Model PLC at Work schools in the White River School District. They visited several Model PLC at Work schools to observe the PLC at Work process across different grade levels as part of their training with Solution Tree to implement professional learning communities in their country.

Handing in a paper

Sonora Middle School, Springdale School District, Springdale, Arkansas

Even with a percentage of students qualifying for free and reduced lunch that is higher than the state average, Sonora Middle School was one of 4 schools in the Springdale school district that improved their letter grade score this past year. Only 14% (148) of schools in the state went up a letter grade.

External Research

Educational practices from Solution Tree authors continues to be studied in a variety of ways. Here are two studies on Professional Learning Communities at Work. The first study was done through a Solution Tree partnership with an external research organization, and the other study was completed independently of Solution Tree about a PLC at Work in California. We have also included a study on Professional Learning that shows how aligned our work is with the needs of educators as they grow and improve their practice.

“PLC at Work® in Arkansas: Driving achievement results through school transformation and innovation” (Education Northwest, February 2021)

Key findings from the research study included:

  1. Students in PLC at Work Cohort 1 schools showed improved academic achievement and higher levels of engagement.
  2. All PLC at Work Cohort 1 schools reported positive changes in instructional practices, which led to improved learning opportunities for students.
  3. Educators in PLC at Work Cohort 1 schools improved their culture of collaboration and collective responsibility for ensuring all students learn at high levels.
  4. All PLC at Work Cohort 1 schools received substantial support from school leaders and Solution Tree associates and were able to fully implement the program.

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“What Does It Take to Accelerate the Learning of Every Child?” (Policy Analysis for California Education, December 2023)

The Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE) organization conducted an independent study of the impact of PLC at Work efforts being undertaken with the California Collaborative for Educational Excellence (CCEE) and Solution Tree. Key quotes and takeaways from their findings included:

  • “The PLC at Work model has led to measurable impacts in student achievement. This pilot has shown promise for creating schools that can quickly diagnose and collectively respond to students’ needs.”
  • “…this model (PLC at Work) puts teachers in the driver’s seat, empowering them to make instructional decisions as a collaborative team. Early returns suggest the model has great potential to improve teaching and learning throughout California’s schools.”
  • “Research consistently shows that schools with coherent systems for collaborative planning and reflection time for teachers as well as structures for instructional support and student intervention can greatly improve teaching and learning.”

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“Building Better PL: How to Strengthen Teacher Learning” (Research Partnership for Professional Learning, October 2023)

This study identified five components of effective teacher professional development. All five components are part of the PLC at Work model, they include:

  1. PD should focus on instructional practices.
  2. PD should prioritize concrete materials for practice.
  3. There should be follow-up coaching after PD.
  4. PD should help teachers build relationships with students.
  5. Coaching and teacher collaboration are key strategies.

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Internal Research

Solution Tree continuously examines the impact that our services have on improving schools and student achievement.

Cohort schools and Priority Schools in Arkansas receiving Solution Tree services experienced less of a learning loss during COVID than schools receiving no services.

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Arkansas Infographic, Solution Tree (July 2023)

International Research

The Role of Professional Learning Communities: Perceptions of Turkish In-Service English Language Teachers

"The main findings indicated that participants stated positive views about PLC sessions. Most of them defined PLC experiences as an effective professional development practice that allows them to share experiences and learn new ideas in teaching from their colleagues."

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Making Sense of Teachers' Collaboration and Professional Dialogue in Chile: Agency and Leadership in Three Newly Formed Professional Learning Communities

"Analysis of the official school documentation from the three case studies indicates that teacher collaboration is defined as being central to the sharing of professional knowledge and to improvements in student learning."

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