Research Underway

The Center for Research Use in Education (CRUE) 

Source of Support: Institute of Education Sciences
The CRUE/Research for Schools (R4S) project involves a large-scale nationally-representative survey of over 10,000 staff from 300 schools to document how and when schools use research, and the conditions that promote or inhibit research use in schools.  To learn more about our study, see the original announcement and description on the Institute of Education Sciences website. You can also visit the project’s website, or read the UDaily article.

Food in Our Neighborhood Study (FIONS)

Source of Support: National Institutes of Health (R01)
FIONS is a randomized study designed to evaluate whether a new supermarket with healthy food retail funding that opens March, 2018 in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, an urban food desert, favorably influences dietary intake of residents.

Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Farmers’ Market Voucher Program Research (National, NYC, Florida) and Ladder for Growth: A National Network to Build Capacity and Test Innovative Strategies for Healthy Food Incentives

Source of Support: Wholesome Wave/Florida Organic Growers/NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene/USDA
CRESP measured the impact of expanded nutrition program incentive vouchers at a network of farmers’ markets. Specifically, CRESP conducted a rigorous, multi-site randomized control trial between September of 2015 and December of 2017 at 77 FMs across the country.

Supporting Strategic Writers: An Efficacy Trial of a Postsecondary Developmental Writing Intervention

Source of Support: Institute of Education Sciences
Using a multi-site, randomized controlled trial experiment, this study examines the efficacy of a developmental writing intervention, Supporting Strategic Writers (SSW), in which community college students learn strategies for planning, drafting, and revising compositions as well as strategies for self-regulation.

An Efficacy Follow-Up Study of the Long-Term Effects of Reading Recovery Under the i3 Scale-Up

Source of Support: Institute of Education Sciences
Reading Recovery is a fully-developed program that includes 12- to 20-week cycles of daily one-to-one lessons provided by a specially-trained teacher. This is an efficacy follow-up study to an i3-funded scale-up study that uses a regression discontinuity design to estimate the long-term impacts of the Reading Recovery intervention.

Efficacy of the Targeted Reading Intervention (TRI) for English Language Learners

Source of Support: Institute of Education Sciences
Using a mixed-methods multi-site randomized controlled trial this efficacy study will determine the impact of the Targeted Reading Intervention on the early literacy skills of young English learners.

Strategic Data Partnership on Teacher and Leader Effectiveness

Source of Support: Delaware Department of Education (DDOE)
Since 2015, CRESP has partnered with DDOE and the Harvard Strategic Data Project (SDP) to hire and place 2-3 SDP Data Fellows in full-time positions at DDOE. The Fellows are co-supervised by CRESP Director, Henry May, and DDOE Deputy Secretary, Karen Field Rogers. The SDP Fellows pay a critical role in increasing the analytic capacity of DDOE and promoting connections to CRESP/UD.


Source of Support: National Science Foundation
ADVANCE is a five-year grant awarded in 2014 to the University of Delaware intended to increase the representation of women faculty in all STEM and social science departments. CRESP staff conducts the internal, formative evaluation of the ADVANCE program to assess whether project activities are occurring as planned and whether progress is being made in meeting program objectives. The ADVANCE evaluation uses a theory-based, participative model, employing repeated measures to examine change during the five-year implementation.


In July 2017, CRESP merged with the Delaware Education Research and Development Center. As such, CRESP has an additional portfolio of evaluation efforts. Examples of ongoing efforts include:

Leadership Education for Neurodevelopmental and related Disabilities (LEND) Evaluation

Source of Support: Health Resources and Services Administration
The purpose of the LEND evaluation is to provide information to LEND staff about program implementation that enables them to continuously improve and shape the project and to gauge the extent to which the program is on track toward meeting its goals.  The evaluation design is based on a participative, theory-based model that includes both formative and summative components. Qualitative and quantitative data are collected through interviews, observations, surveys, and existing data.

Building Bridges: Improving Access to Timely and Appropriate Services for Children with ASD/DD and their Families Evaluation

Source of Support: Health Resources and Services Administration
The Building Bridges evaluation team works with project staff to evaluate program activities, as well as to facilitate the implementation of a capacity-building, quality improvement process based on data-driven decision making. The evaluation design uses an embedded, participative approach to examine ongoing efforts to change policy and practice, and an empowerment model for facilitating the quality improvement process development.

Delaware Early Childhood Assistive Technology Demonstration (DECATD) Evaluation

Source of Support: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services
The evaluation of the DECATD program focuses on two early education sites and measures the extent to which the understanding and use of assistive technology changes upon implementation of program strategies.  The evaluation examines site-specific, pre-post measures of AT awareness, knowledge, and skills.  In addition, the evaluation uses theory-based methods to study policy and practice changes relating to funding, access, and acquisition.

Reports from CRESP

Education Data Systems: A Systematic Look at State Practices Related to Researcher Access

As expectations for research and data to inform educational decision making continue to grow under federal policy, state longitudinal data systems (SLDS) are in place in nearly all states and offer a unique resource for generating evidence to support improvement efforts. However, little is known about whether and how researchers are able to access these data. State processes and procedures for granting researcher access may support or impede the generation of timely and relevant research.  In this paper we present findings of a content analysis of state education agency (SEA) websites that explain those processes and procedures.  We find great variability in SEA approaches to supporting user requests, transparency of the process, data privacy and security, guidelines for use, and available data. Results are intended to launch a productive dialogue on these issues and promote more consistent and coherent policies that promote evidence-based decision-making, and, ultimately, stronger ties between research, policy, and practice in order to collectively improve educational opportunities and outcomes for all students.

Connecting Healthy Farms to Healthy Delawareans: A Farm and Food Report – December 2016


Download the report here: DE Healthy Food and Farm Report
In partnership with the Delaware Department of Agriculture, this report reflects conversations with more than 45 Delawareans, representing leadership from agriculture, public health, food retailers, economic development, government and civic organizations. Together leaders met to explore policy barriers and program successes and to understand the most pressing challenges and opportunities across the state of Delaware. Home to 2,500 family farms and $8 billion in economic impacts, Delaware’s thriving farming and food leaders outline in the report priorities for future collective action requiring a broad base of leadership across a variety of sectors. Among recommended actions are: 1. Establish a Delaware Farm and Food Policy Council accountable to the governor; 2. Launch a coordinated marketing campaign across multiple sectors to engage Delawareans about the benefits of agriculture’s strength to the state; 3. Pilot a local distribution intermediary to aggregate and distribute local products within Delaware; 4. Create a public-private funding source to support development of food and farming businesses in Delaware; 5. Unify engagement in planning and transportation efforts to improve state infrastructure; 6. Continue to grow and invest in a nationally recognized farm to school program by establishing a farm to school state coordinator position to promote and support additional activities; 7. Encourage the minimization of food loss and waste by reducing, recovering and recycling.

CPRE/CRESP’s Reading Recovery: An Evaluation of the Four-Year i3 Scale-Up Research Report Released – March 2016

This final report presents the results of a four-year independent external evaluation of the impacts and implementation of the scale-up of Reading Recovery, a literacy intervention targeting struggling 1st-grade students.  The evaluation was conducted by the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) at the University of Pennsylvania and the Center for Research in Education and Social Policy (CRESP) at the University of Delaware.

Reading Recovery is implemented through the collaboration of a network that includes local schools, districts, UTCs, and in some cases state government entities. Through independent evaluation, CPRE/CRESP provide a detailed exploration of the interaction of these collaborators, and of both the strengths of the Reading Recovery program and the challenges it faces.

IES Research Grant to Study Knowledge Utilization

CRESP Director Henry May, and researcher Elizabeth Farley-Ripple have been awarded a $5 million research grant to establish the Research 4 Schools (R4S). The center will be located within CRESP and will study knowledge utilization, or gaps between research and practice within schools.

To find out more detailed information about our study, see the original announcement and description on the Institute of Education Sciences website. You can also check out the UDaily article about the study as well as this press release.

Urban Farm Complex Research

This document provides an in depth look at the possibilities for implementing an urban farm complex on the lot on Gordon Street. We begin with an overview of Wilmington’s Socio-economic Demographics to frame the project followed by extensive research on each model.  For some sections, we delve deep into the model and for others we focus more on case studies, best practices and other important information. Link: Urban Farm Complex Research 5.11.2015

New: Post on sweetened drinks featured in WDEL (1150 FM) news/talk radio station

USDA report explores healthy food incentives for SNAP users

New: Blog Post on the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research’s (NCCOR) website:

Tune in to Chicago’s WBEZ 91.5 Afternoon Shift to hear Associate Director Allison Karpyn, PhD share findings from the report “Approaches for Promoting Healthy Food Purchases by SNAP Participants”

Listen Here:

Report available from the USDA (

The plan for leveraging a nutrition labeling system and the incentive approaches for promoting
healthy choices described in this report were developed through a review of the literature, expert
consultation, and consideration of ongoing initiatives to help consumers make healthy choices in
the retail setting. Expert consultation served to further develop the operational details of potential
approaches and to identify challenges, barriers, and opportunities for the likely stakeholders of
each approach. The technical expert rankings identified a set of possible approaches that were
determined to be both feasible and have substantial potential for impact. From that list, the study
team, in consultation with FNS, selected six approaches to develop further. Each of the six
approaches was developed to include a full description of the theoretical framework,
implementation, and suggested adjunct supports. The study team sought additional input from a
midsized regional retailer and a small retailer to refine some of the technical features of these

Study of Philly grocery tests assumptions about complex U.S. obesity problem.
To listen to Associate Director Allison Karpyn’s viewpoint, click on the link below:

Reading Recovery: Scaling Up What Works

New – Report released – December 2014

Report released – August 2013

Reading Recovery is a research-based short-term literacy intervention of individualized instruction for the lowest-achieving first graders. Through its established network of university training centers, Reading Recovery will be scaled up to target persistently low-performing schools, many of which serve high proportions of ELL students and/or students who live in rural areas. Scaling Up What Works has 15 partner institutions of higher education (IHE) participating in the project to facilitate implementation of Reading Recovery in 1,500 schools across 40 states. The overarching goal of the project is to increase the reading achievement levels of students in persistently low-performing schools.
The five key project objectives are to:
  • Train 15 new teacher leaders in Year 1 to serve underrepresented areas of the U.S. with a high population of schools meeting the criteria for Absolute Priority 4.
  • Train 750 new Reading Recovery teachers each year for a total of 3,750 teachers at the end of five years.
  • Work with more than 90,000 Reading Recovery students and over 400,000 students in classrooms or Title I small group instruction.
  • Conduct a rigorous independent project evaluation including both experimental and qualitative methodologies.
  • Provide high-quality oversight for the project, orchestrating activities across all the official partners.

Official Partners: There are 16 official partner institutes of higher education (IHEs) participating in the project: The Ohio State University, Clemson University, Georgia State University, Lesley University, National Louis University, New York University, Oakland University, Saint Mary’s College, Texas Women’s University, University of Arkansas–Little Rock, University of Connecticut, University of Kentucky, University of Maine, University of Northern Iowa, the University of South Dakota, and The University of Pennsylvania (the project’s external evaluator).

Start date:  October 2010
End date:  September 2015


Study of International Baccalaureate Students’ Post-Secondary Outcomes

New – Report released August 2013

Despite a lack of scientifically based research, credit-based transition programs such as International Baccalaureate (IB), Advanced Placement (AP), and dual enrollment have become very popular as a means to increase the rigor of high school course offerings and improve the curricular alignment between high school and college. The purpose of this research is to examine the relationships between participation in the IB Diploma Program and a range of college-related outcomes that occur on the path into and through higher education. By combining data across the International Baccalaureate North American (IBNA) database, the Florida K-20 Education Data Warehouse (EDW), and the National Student Clearinghouse, we can study college enrollment and graduation for a national sample, while using more detailed data from the state of Florida to produce a comprehensive picture of the relationship between participation in IB and students’ postsecondary trajectories as reflected by indicators of academic readiness for college (e.g., high school GPA, SAT scores), access to college (e.g., application and acceptance rates), academic performance in college (e.g., GPA, course grades), persistence to bachelor’s degree attainment (e.g., time to graduation), and access to post-baccalaureate degree programs (e.g., application and acceptance rates). Because not every school offers an IB program, and students who eventually choose to participate in IB programs are a self-selected group, our analytic models include several statistical and econometric approaches for addressing selection bias.
Start date:  March 2009
End date:  February 2013