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About Catalpa


Over the last 15 years, through field research and major pilot projects, Catalpa has designed the technology and procedures to assure the rigor and utility of visiting team findings.

Catalpa's most important achievement is the unusually high quality and utility of information that Practice-Based Inquiry visits makes available for school practitioners, policy makers and the public about the performance of public schools.

Catalpa has won international acclaim for its ground-breaking work in establishing Practice-Based Inquiry as a legitimate research methodology for organizations that provide professional services.

Practice-Based Inquiry has significantly improved the quality, rigor and utility of information that it now makes available to schools, accrediting associations and other professional service organizations.


Catalpa was incorporated in February 1996 by the state of Rhode Island. The IRS considers Catalpa Ltd. a Sub-chapter S corporation. Catalpa has been approved to manage foundation grants.

Catalpa grants and contracts

The fifteen years of work on Practice-Based Inquiry has been supported by a mix of contracts and foundation grants. Grants from IBM, The Pew Charitable Trusts, The Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Joyce Foundation, the Lilly Endowment, and the Rockefeller Foundation supported the research on English school inspection and its early implementation in American schools.

Long-term contracts with the Rhode Island Department of Education funded Catalpa's work with SALT.

The LAB at Brown supported the research and development work for the Secondary Schools Commission of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC).

Other contracting organizations include AdvancED (Atlanta), National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), Network for College Success (University of Chicago), the Chicago Schools Alliance (Business and Professional People for the Public Interest), Coalition for Improving Education in South Shore (Chicago), SchoolWorks! (Massachusetts), Minneapolis Public Schools, Illinois State Board of Education and the Annenberg Institute for School Reform.


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