Publication Date


Place of Publication

University of Southern Maine

Document Type



At the request of the state legislature, the Maine Education Policy Research Institute (MEPRI) at University of Southern Maine (USM) has been conducting a study of public schools that have been identified as: (1) more efficient; and (2) improving. Over the past two years, MEPRI has developed a set of metrics for identifying schools whose students are beating the odds by performing significantly better on state assessments than is predicted from student and community characteristics, and to use this same metric to identifying improving schools, school that have a record of improvement. The goal of the two-phase study has been to identify the strategies and practices that these two types of schools are using to support all learners.

The basic research design used in the two phased study entailed: (1) identifying more efficient and improving schools; (2) selecting a sample of schools to study in more detail; (3) conducting case studies on the sample schools; and (4) preparing cross case analyses and final reports for each phase of the study. Phase I of the study has been completed and the report is available at

Phase II of the study is underway at this time, and the initial work has been completed on the Improving high schools. This report describes the criteria used in selecting the schools, case by case reports of each of the high schools, and a preliminary cross case analysis of the high school findings.


Prepared for the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs Maine State Legislature