Research/Publication

NC New Schools / Breakthrough Learning operates as a learning organization. We engage in continuous inquiry about our work in order to improve services that help prepare all students to lead more successful, productive lives. By disseminating research publications about NC New Schools / Breakthrough Learning and the innovations occurring throughout our network, we aim to contribute to the knowledge base for educators, policymakers, non-education professionals, and community advocates.

Currently, we manage research projects in cooperation with the US Department of Education and the NC State Board of Education/Department of Public Instruction. These research project have totaled more than $50 million over the past decade and include the design and delivery of evidence-based approaches to educational innovation that blend public education with higher education and the emergency economy.


Competency-based education: A conceptual framework

Competency-based education: A conceptual framework

National indicators suggest that traditional methods of educating students are diminishing the quality of education accessed while also leaving large swaths of students behind. Competition in the glob…
NC Rural Innovative Schools | Year 3 reports

NC Rural Innovative Schools | Year 3 reports

Published in March 2015, these reports review the third year of the NC Rural Innovative Schools initiative. Executive summary Year 3 baseline report from the SERVE Center NC New Schools has …
A new finish line: Progress based on mastery, not time

A new finish line: Progress based on mastery, not time

Competency-Based Learning Genuine student-centered teaching and learning is at the heart of the education transformation advanced by NC New Schools since it first started helping develop and support …
Case Study of Wayne School of Engineering

Case Study of Wayne School of Engineering

The goal of this OSPrI study was to find and characterize “exemplar” inclusive STEM-focused schools, meaning schools that are non-selective and do not use demanding criteria for admission that req…
Case Study: Yadkin Valley Regional Career Academy

Case Study: Yadkin Valley Regional Career Academy

Yadkin Valley Regional Career Academy aims to ensure that students graduate with the skills and mindset needed to thrive in a 21st century economy transformed by technology and industries with a promi…