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ERIC Number: ED531753
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
An Evaluation of EPIC's Analysis of School Practice & Knowledge System. The Effective Practice Incentive Community (EPIC). Research Brief
Sloan, Kay; Pereira-Leon, Maura; Honeyford, Michelle
New Leaders for New Schools (NJ1)
Established in 2006 by New Leaders for New Schools[TM], the Effective Practice Incentive Community (EPIC) initiative rewards high-need urban schools showing significant gains in student achievement. In exchange, schools agree to share the practices helping to drive those gains, which they do through an in-depth study of practice, aided by the EPIC team and a suite of investigation tools. This investigation and analysis process culminates in the publication of a case study or practice profile on the EPIC Knowledge System, an online professional development platform. To document the EPIC approach, and the design, content, and early use of the Knowledge System, New Leaders for New Schools contracted with Rockman et al, an independent research and evaluation firm with offices in San Francisco, California, and Bloomington, Indiana. This brief is based on three evaluation activities Rockman conducted in May 2009: telephone interviews with EPIC staff, New Leaders coaches, and principals in award-winning schools to gather background information and feedback on the EPIC investigation process and initial use of the Knowledge System; a review of the EPIC tools used by schools to analyze practice and create cases and profiles; and a content analysis of the Knowledge System. Findings from preliminary research designed to explore EPIC's impact and potential indicate that both the EPIC investigation and Knowledge System effectively build capacity for urban school improvement. The EPIC experience gives award-winning schools a model with which to continue to analyze and document practices linked to student achievement gains. Principals have used the EPIC tools for staff development and management training and modified their own classroom observations and teacher evaluations based on interactions with the EPIC team. In markedly similar ways, principals describe how EPIC has helped them take the time to reflect on practices and yet move forward faster because of efficiencies stemming from careful, systematic reflection and documentation of practice. Many also find that the experience and recognition gained through a national program has validated their efforts, garnered school-wide support for initiatives, raised their visibility in the community and supported ongoing school improvement efforts. The EPIC Knowledge System encourages careful reflection through a series of questions that allow users to connect cases or profiles to their own work, while also accelerating change by providing detailed examples of practices that are contributing to student achievement gains. EPIC case studies and practice profiles include concrete explanations of practices, artifacts, video, and data on achievement gains, all situated in the context of the school, which help users adapt or replicate practices. New Leaders coaches look forward to incorporating the Knowledge System into their training because it reduces the need to reteach; gives them and trainees a common language, free of jargon; and accommodates principals' schedules as well as their own need for customizable resources that fit multiple training scenarios.
New Leaders. 30 West 26th Street Second Floor, New York, NY 10010. Tel: 646-792-1070; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education; Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: MetLife Foundation; Department of Education (ED)
Authoring Institution: New Leaders for New Schools
Identifiers - Location: California; Colorado; District of Columbia; Maryland; New York; Tennessee; Wisconsin