August 13, 2018

Nation’s Leading School Improvement Non-Profits Join Forces

The Chamber was honored to be on hand to help welcome the merger of two of the nation’s leading school improvement organizations. Successful Practices Network and National Dropout Prevention Center have joined forces and are now headquartered in Rexford, NY.

The states of New York and South Carolina have formally approved the merger of two nationally recognized non-profit organizations that have historically guided and supported much of the nation’s school improvement efforts. This merger brings together the resources, research, tools, publications, expertise, and support capacity of the nation’s leading school improvement non-profit, Successful Practices Network (SPN), and the nation’s leading dropout prevention non-profit, the National Dropout Prevention Center (NDPC). This merger will facilitate the integration of both organizations’ extensive collection of resources and make school improvement support more readily available to the nation’s schools and education leaders.

The Successful Practices Network (SPN) was founded by Dr. Bill Daggett in 2003 with initial funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and focused on identifying and disseminating best practices in K-12 schools across the United States. SPN has continued to grow as a national non-profit supporting sustainable and scalable improvements to the K-12 education system. The National Dropout Prevention Center (NDPC) was founded as a national non-profit in 1986, was supported by and housed at Clemson University for almost 30 years and is currently the nation’s go-to source of information and support for educators and school leaders seeking to improve student outcomes and graduation rates. Both organizations have supported thousands of schools and districts in all 50 states and continue to serve as thought leaders and drivers of sustained improvement nationally.

The merger resulted from SPN’s desire to increase the focus of its school improvement work on graduation and college/career readiness outcomes and from NDPC’s desire for broader distribution and use of its research-based strategies that are known to improve student success and graduation rates. After months of discussion, leaders and governing boards of SPN and NDPC agreed that the merger was a win-win-win for the two organizations and most important for the nation’s students, educators, and schools.

The benefits of this merger for educators, schools, school districts, and states seeking to improve schools and to improve graduation rates are significant. The availability of research-to-practice guidance, leadership support, professional development, policy consultation and practical tools from a single non-profit organization on a national scale will save school reform leaders time and money. The multiple-source and sometimes duplicated delivery of school and graduation rate improvement support that has produced moderate gains for our nation’s schools to date is now replaced by a consolidated, more efficient, and easier-to-access source of needed assistance. Going forward, the single and larger non-profit organization will offer more cost-effective options for investing in student outcomes and a better way for schools, school districts, and states to secure services and technical assistance.