The PPN website is a unique resource that offers credible, research-based information on what works to improve the lives of children and families.
Sometimes referred to as a "best practices" site or a "model program" site, PPN is both of those things and much more. In addition to providing summaries of effective programs in our Programs that Work section, PPN also features Issue Briefs that summarize the current research on various topics, as well as Expert Perspectives, where child policy experts answer our visitors' most pressing questions on a variety of topics. PPN also links to additional research information in all areas related to child well-being, including their physical and mental health, academic success, and economic security. To promote successful implementation of best practices and model programs, PPN also screens and posts evidence-based information on effective Service Delivery.
In addition to the breadth of information PPN provides, visitors can rely on PPN to provide information that has met our high standards for scientific credibility, objectivity, and clarity. Learn about our process for reviewing information for inclusion on the site and how to submit a program for consideration.
April 2013 What's New
Accelerated Reader program boosts student reading achievement
The Accelerated Reader (AR) program is a computer software program that was designed to facilitate independent reading by students in the classroom and to assist teachers with evaluating student reading performance. Accelerated Reader works in conjunction with core reading programs already in place in classrooms. The effect of AR on reading achievement was assessed with first- through fourth-grade students attending private Catholic schools in a large U.S. city. From the beginning of the school year to the end of the year, students in the AR group made significantly higher gains in reading achievement than students who did not use the program.
Small Schools of Choice high schools improve academic achievement in New York City
Small Schools of Choice (SSCs) are public high schools in New York City that replaced failing neighborhood high schools around the City. SSC schools are small in size, relative to other high schools, and do not select students based on academic criteria. SSCs began to open in NY in 2002, and new SSCs are opened on a yearly basis. An evaluation of SSCs compared students who won a lottery for enrollment in an SSC to those who did not win, and found that the SSCs improved high school academic achievement for participating students.
New PPN issue brief addresses the question: "What is an evidence-based practice?"
Facing a growing emphasis on accountability for achieving results in the area of children and family services, decisionmakers such as funders and service providers are increasingly making programmatic choices based on the best research evidence. But what is the best available research evidence? And how can decisionmakers without research training make sense of that evidence? This brief is intended to help PPN visitors understand some of the variation in how the field of child and family services defines "best available research evidence." We describe the history of evidence-based practices (EBPs) and review varying definitions of EBPs, comparing the PPN criteria with those from other organizations.
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Awards and Honors
The PPN website has been recognized with the following awards and honors: