Our Method

Proof That It Works
Independent evaluations demonstrate the powerful effect of our teaching methods, predicting a higher rate of success of student achievement at all levels.

Over our 50-year history, numerous independent evaluations and publications have shown that Project SEED has a powerful positive effect on student achievement at all levels, particularly the upper elementary grades.

Some of the more noteworthy assessments include:

In a 2009-2010 Evaluation of Project SEED in the Compton schools in California, Project SEED students significantly outperformed comparison groups based on scale scores for the California Standards Test.

Smiling proud studentA review of evaluations by Building Engineering and Science Talent (BEST) and American Institutes of Research (AIR) of 200 well-known math and science programs resulted in Project SEED and one other program being recognized with the highest rating given in this 2004 report to the U.S. Congress.

A national study conducted by Dr. William Webster of five school districts (Camden, NJ, Dallas, Detroit, Indianapolis, West Contra Costa, CA) showed through standardized test scores that Project SEED students had significantly higher achievement levels in mathematics. These results were consistent over several grade levels and used five different standardized tests: the California Achievement Test, the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills, the Metropolitan Achievement Test, the Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills, and the Stanford Achievement Test.

One study in particular demonstrated the long-term benefits of investing in a Project SEED program. This study was a longitudinal evaluation conducted over a 12-year period, and included students with up to three semesters of Project SEED instruction in grades 4, 5, and 6. It showed that the impact on mathematics achievement was:

  • Immediate—Project SEED students outscored a matched comparison group after as little as one semester of instruction.
  • Cumulative—The rate of growth of Project SEED students versus comparison students increased for each semester of SEED instruction.
  • Persistent—Five years after their last exposure to Project SEED, the scores of SEED students were still higher on standardized mathematics tests than comparison students. Project SEED students also took more advanced mathematics courses in secondary school than did the comparison students and were required to repeat a grade less often.

Evaluation of Project SEED’s Professional Development for teachers has also been consistently positive. In one instance, Project SEED trained over a thousand teachers in Dallas and over 95% of those teachers rated this training as effective, very effective or extremely effective. Click here to see a video.


Articles about Project SEED have appeared in The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, Newsweek, Education Week, The National School Board Journal, and hundreds of other publications. Project SEED has been featured on CNN and the CBS Early Show (link to video). Books that feature Project SEED as an exemplary or model program for African American and Latino youth include:

  • Young, Gifted, and Black book coverYoung, Gifted and Black: Promoting High Achievement Among African-American Students Theresa Perry, Claude Steele, Asa Hilliard III, 2003
    The authors present strong evidence that educational success for African-American students is a function of the educational methods that are used. Project SEED is described in detail as a program which demonstrates conclusively that “at-risk” African-American students can learn higher mathematics successfully.
  • Show Me The Evidence book coverShow Me the Evidence, Robert Slavin and Olatokunbo Fashola, 1998
    Researchers from the Johns Hopkins University Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed at Risk (CRESPAR) reviewed hundreds of programs and chose only those that have been shown to be effective in rigorous evaluations and that are replicable across a broad range of schools. Project SEED was one of five mathematics programs chosen nationwide to be included in this book, which reviews programs for disadvantaged, minority, at-risk, and Title I eligible students.
  • Teaching Diverse Populations book coverTeaching Diverse Populations, Etta Hollins, Joyce King, & W. Hayman, 1994
    Based on direct observation, the author identifies Project SEED as a benchmark innovator that features numerous aspects common to African American culture such as audience participation, choral responses, cooperation, collective responsibility for problem solving, flexibility and strong adult leadership.
  • Breaking The Barriers book coverBreaking The Barriers, Beatrice Chu Clewell, Bernice Taylor Anderson, & Margaret E. Thorpe, 1992
    The authors identify effective strategies for overcoming barriers to success in mathematics and science. After an initial survey of 163 programs, they chose Project SEED for one of ten detailed case studies of programs that are successful because they use many of these strategies.
  • Reaching All Students book coverReaching All Students with Mathematics, Gilbert Cuevas & Mark Driscoll, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, 1993
    After surveying hundreds of programs, the NCTM taskforce on reaching all students chose Project SEED as one of seventeen programs that best demonstrated successful efforts to bring underserved students into the mathematics learning community.
  • Intelligence and How to Get it, Richard E. Nisbett, 2009
    In asserting the primacy of culture in shaping academic potential, the author singles out Project SEED as a mathematics program that successfully helps to close the achievement gap between low-income minority students and their counterparts.

Project SEED’s National Director and CEO, Hamid Ebrahimi was invited to testify at a US House of Representatives subcommittee hearing on “Programs That Work” in public education. He also was asked to speak before the US Senate committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions about Project SEED and the urgent needs of forgotten students.

In addition, Project SEED was included as one of the select programs in the US Department of Education’s list of “What Works for Latino Students” and in Educational Programs That Work, the book listing programs validated by the Department of Education’s National Diffusion Network’s Program Effectiveness Panel. The Eisenhower National Clearinghouse for Mathematics and Science Education featured Project SEED as an excellent educational program.