top of page

Shaffer Evaluation Group: Pioneering Educational Innovation and Research through Rigorous Evaluation

Updated: Jul 6

By: Patricia Moore Shaffer, PhD

Principal & CEO

At Shaffer Evaluation Group, we pride ourselves on driving educational innovation through meticulous, insightful, and impactful evaluation. Our track record speaks volumes about our capability to conduct rigorous educational evaluation, and we'd like to share a few standout projects that illustrate our expertise and dedication. These projects not only showcase our ability to handle complex evaluations but also highlight our commitment to fostering educational equity and excellence.

Boston College logo

1. Boston College/DevTech Research Group: Coding as Another Language

Overview: The Coding as Another Language curriculum, which utilizes coding app ScratchJr, integrates computational thinking and computer science with learning about math and literacy through a collaborative, project-based process. 

Our Role: To assess the effectiveness of the Coding as Another Language curriculum, we designed and implemented a randomized control trial that met What Works Clearinghouse standards for study rigor. This study design allowed us to measure the effectiveness of the curriculum and its impact on student performance in literacy, mathematics, and coding skills. This evaluation was supported through an Educational Innovation and Research (EIR) grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

Key Findings:

  • Second-grade student participants demonstrated significantly higher coding skills compared to the business-as-usual control group.

  • The Hedge’s g effect size of 0.39 indicated a medium effect size of the impact of the curriculum on second grade students’ coding skills.

Grapeseed logo

2. GrapeSEED: Oral Language Program for Pre-K

Overview: Preschoolers must be able to understand language at an oral level to be expected to understand it at the text level. GrapeSEED is a research-aligned, teacher-led program that helps preschool students build oral language and critical listening skills.

Our Role: We conducted several studies in the U.S. and abroad to assess the program's impact on student oral language proficiency. Our mixed-methods approach included surveys, interviews, classroom observations, and test score analysis.

Key Findings:

  • GrapeSEED enabled at-risk preschool students to grow faster than their national non-risk peers in every category of language fundamentals.

National Board Certified Teacher logo

3. Teacher National Board Certification    

Overview: National Board Certification is the most respected professional certification available in education and provides numerous benefits to teachers, students and schools. It was designed to develop, retain and recognize accomplished teachers and to generate ongoing improvement in schools nationwide.

Our Role: We conducted a quasi-experimental study that evaluated student outcomes in Mathematics and Reading in classrooms taught by Board-certified and non-Board-certified teachers in a southeastern school district.

Key Findings:

  • Students taught by Board-certified teachers had significantly higher academic achievement in the subject areas of Mathematics and Reading. The gain in test scores was particularly large for students in Mathematics classes taught by Board-certified teachers.

  • Students of color benefited more than their white peers from instruction by Board-certified teachers.


Shaffer Evaluation Group's extensive experience in evaluating innovative educational programs makes us uniquely qualified to conduct an Educational Innovation and Research (EIR) grant evaluation. Our proven methodologies, coupled with our commitment to educational equity and excellence, ensure that we can provide valuable insights and actionable recommendations to drive innovation and improve student outcomes.

Whether it's boosting student performance in STEM or improving early literacy skills, Shaffer Evaluation Group is dedicated to making a positive impact in education. Let's work together to create a brighter future for all students through innovative and effective evaluation!


Interested in applying for an Education Innovation and Research (EIR) grant?

If you are interested in applying for the EIR Early-phase grant, and need assistance with your application, contact SEG ( Most recently, SEG collaborated with Boston College on their EIR Early-phase grant, which tested the efficacy of their Coding as Another Language curriculum. SEG will collaborate with you on research design at the grant application stage at no cost to your institution in exchange for being listed in your application as the external evaluator. Learn more about us here:

Please note the deadline for submitting the intent to apply is June 6, 2024, and the deadline for submitting the application is July 22, 2024. The mid-phase and expansion tiers have different deadlines. 


bottom of page