Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.

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Category: Publications

Schools that Make the Grade

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Schools that Make the Grade: What Successful Schools Do to Improve Student Achievement


What turns a good school into a great school? With today's schools under enormous pressure to make adequate yearly progress (AYP), the answers are more important than ever-and this essential guidebook gives K-12 administrators and educators scores of proven, concrete strategies to help their school succeed.

Authors Martin Ratcliffe and Melissa Harts are veteran educators who have who have collective in-the-trenches experience ranging from classroom teaching to district-level administration. Pooling their expertise and the invaluable insights of other frontline professionals, they help education teams work together on seven critical success factors that directly correlate with student achievement, from high expectations to frequent progress monitoring. For each success factor, readers will get


  • dozens of proven, research-based strategies that are aligned to meet federal requirements for school improvement
  • specific best practices tailored for teachers, principals, and district-level administrators, so all members of the education team can do their part to improve student achievement
  • tips for working with diverse students, including students with special needs and English language learners
  • key research studies demonstrating the importance of each factor
  • personal stories and perspectives from successful teachers, supervisors, administrators, and principals

Throughout the book, readers will follow documented case studies of real schools. They'll investigate the diverse approaches these schools took to each of the seven success factors, discover what worked and didn't work, and take away valuable lessons they can implement in their own schools.

An indispensable survival guide to the era of accountability, this groundbreaking book gives schools real-world solutions to the challenges of today's educational climate-and helps teachers, principals, and administrators prepare all of their students for long-term academic success.

Put these seven success factors to work in your school:


  • Foster positive home–school relations
  • Keep students engaged and motivated to learn in the time given
  • Create a climate of high expectations
  • Develop a clear and focused mission
  • Monitor student progress frequently
  • Receive strong and effective instructional leadership from the principal
  • Ensure a safe and orderly environment
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