Nation’s Leading School Improvement Non-Profits Join Forces

National Dropout Prevention Center Merges With Successful Practices Network

Anderson, SC—(June 13, 2018)—The states of South Carolina and New York 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.

Under terms of the merger, NDPC will function financially and operationally as a unit of SPN. Governance of the merged non-profit will reside with the SPN Board of Directors and activities of NDPC will be guided by the NDPC Advisory Board. All existing offerings and services of both organizations will be continued but will be expanded, enhanced and more readily available because of the merger. The combined staffs and financial resources of SPN and NDPC will produce increased quality and quantity of research, conference offerings, and on-site technical assistance for schools, school districts and states.

The Successful Practices Network will continue to be guided by its Chairman, Dr. Bill Daggett, with staff members spread across multiple states and operations coordinated from SPN’s headquarters in Rexford, NY. The National Dropout Prevention Center will continue to be led by its Executive Director, Dr. Sandy Addis, with staff and operations headquartered in Anderson, SC. SPN and NDPC staff members will work both individually and in cross-organizational teams to organize conference events, conduct research, generate publications, deliver services, and develop new school and graduation rate improvement solutions and services. SPN’s long-time practice of identifying model schools and practices, disseminating lessons learned and best practices, and guiding and coaching school leaders will continue and be expanded. NDPC’s services will continue to include web-based and in-person professional development in at-risk student services and effective dropout prevention strategies, Dropout Prevention Specialist Certification and production of research-to-practice guides. NDPC’s Research Fellows Program that currently represents six major research universities will be expanded to include more universities and to expedite research output. SPN and NDPC will work together to increase services to each organization’s network of subscribing members.

Regarding the merger, Dr. Daggett stated, “Since the inception of the Successful Practices Network we have been focused on and committed to helping schools better prepare ALL students for success in school and for the world beyond school. The National Dropout Prevention Center has more than three decades of serving as the nation’s premier resource for systems and professionals seeking to address the challenges of increasing graduation rates and readiness for our most challenged students. The SPN/NDPC merger will enable our collective organization to make a continued and sustained impact for ALL students.”

About the National Dropout Prevention Center (NDPC)
The NDPC was begun in 1986 to serve as a clearinghouse on issues related to dropout prevention, and to offer strategies designed to increase the graduation rate in America’s schools. Over the years, the NDPC has become a well-established national resource for sharing solutions for student success. It does so through its clearinghouse function, active research and evaluation projects, publications, and through a variety of professional development activities. The organization’s website——is the nation’s leading resource in providing effective, research-based solutions to engaging students and reducing dropout. In addition, the NDPC conducts a variety of third-party evaluations and Program Assessment and Reviews (PARs) for schools and districts. By promoting awareness of successful programs and policies related to dropout prevention, the work of the Center has made an impact on education from the local to the national level.

About Successful Practices Network (SPN)
As a non-profit organization, Successful Practices Network’s mission is to provide customized coaching and access to a deep Member and content database by tailoring the organization’s flexible offering to schools and districts. SPN was founded in 2003 by Dr. Bill Daggett, and lead by Ray McNulty, with an initial five-year grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. SPN has since won multiple additional grants to conduct proprietary research and to create exclusive instructional and assessment tools. In 2007, SPN developed the WE Suite of Surveys to measure and support stakeholder perceptions regarding rigor, relevance, learner engagement, leadership and school culture. Those original surveys are now joined by focused surveys for career readiness, academic tenacity, human capital development and other areas to continue supporting schools and districts. For more information, go to

For Additional Information Contact:
Lynn Dunlap
National Dropout Prevention Center
Phone: 864-642-6372 Ext.105

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