SWIFT’s approach to transforming schools builds on the latest research in education and implementation science, and our research team investigates the outcomes of our school interventions so we can continually refine our frameworks. See below for some Research to Practice Briefs and a list of SWIFT peer-reviewed publications to stay up-to-date on the latest research.

students reading a book at a table in a classroom

Realizing Rightful Presence Through Justice-Oriented Leadership

Studies show that the “how” of transforming a school is just as important as the “what.” In this brief, the research is illustrated by an account of how a justice-oriented leader engaged in an equity-focused redesign to better serve students historically excluded or left at the margins, and achieved increases in student achievement on annual state assessments of reading and math and established a culture of rightful presence.

Research & Journal Articles


Taylor, J., & Sailor, W. (2024). A case for systems change in special education. Remedial and Special Education, 45(2), 125-135. https://doi.org/10.1177/07419325231181385

McCart, A., Kelly, W. & Sailor, W. (2023). Build equity, join justice.: A paradigm for school belonging. Norton.

Choi, J. H., McCart, A. B., Miller, D. H., & Sailor, W. (2022). Issues in statewide scale up of a Multi-Tiered System of Support. Journal of School Leadership, 32(5), 514-536. https://doi.org/10.1177/10526846211067650

Sailor, W., Skrtic, T. M., Cohn, M., & Olmstead, C. (2021). Preparing teacher educators for statewide scale-up of Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS). Teacher Education and Special Education, 44(1), 24–41. https://doi.org/10.1177/0888406420938035 



McCart, A., & Miller, D. (2020). Leading equity-based MTSS for all students. Corwin.

Choi, J. H., McCart, A. B., & Sailor, W. (2020). Reshaping educational systems to realize the promise of inclusive education. FIRE: Forum for International Research in Education, 6(1), 8-23. https://doi.org/10.32865/fire202061179

Choi, J. H., McCart, A. B., & Sailor, W. (2020). Achievement of students with IEPs and associated relationships with an inclusive MTSS framework. The Journal of Special Education, 54(3), 157-168. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022466919897408 

Choi, J. H., McCart, A. B., Hicks, T. A., & Sailor, W. (2019). An analysis of mediating effects of school leadership on MTSS implementation. The Journal of Special Education, 53(1), 15-27. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022466918804815 

Kurth, J. A. (2018). Introduction to the special topic issue on the impact of SWIFT technical assistance. Inclusion, 6(1), 1-2. https://doi.org/10.1352/2326-6988-6.1.1 

Sailor, W., McCart, A. B., & Choi, J. H. (2018).  Reconceptualizing inclusive education through Multi-Tiered System of Support. Inclusion, 6(1), 2-18. https://doi.org/10.1352/2326-6988-6.1.3

Kurth, J. A., Morningstar, M. E., Hicks, T. A., & Templin, J. (2018). Exploring the relationship between school transformation and inclusion: A Bayesian multilevel longitudinal analysis. Inclusion, 6(1), 19-32. https://doi.org/10.1352/2326-6988-6.1.19

Kozleski, E. B., & Choi, J. H. (2018). Leadership for equity and inclusivity in schools: The cultural work of inclusive schools. Inclusion, 6(1), 33-44. https://doi.org/10.1352/2326-6988-6.1.33

Schuh, M. C., Knackstedt, K. M., Cornett, J., Choi, J. H., Pollitt, D. T., & Satter, A. L. (2018). All means all: Connecting federal education policy and local implementation practice through evidence and equity. Inclusion, 6(1), 45-59. https://doi.org/10.1352/2326-6988-6.1.45

Gross, J. M. S., Choi, J. H., & Francis, G. L. (2018). Perceptions of family engagement and support in SWIFT schools.  Inclusion, 6(1), 60-74. https://doi.org/10.1352/2326-6988-6.1.60

Sailor, W., Satter, A., Woods, K., McLeskey, J., & Waldron, N. (2017). School improvement through inclusive education. Oxford Bibliographies in Education. New York: Oxford University Press.  https://doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199756810-0191 

Sailor, W. (2017). Equity as a basis for inclusive educational systems change.  Australasian Journal of Special Education, 41(1), 1-17. https://doi.org/10.1017/jse.2016.12

Francis, G.L., Blue-Banning, M., Turnbull, A.P., Hill, C., Haines, S.J., & Gross, J.M. (2016). Culture in inclusive schools: Parental perspectives on trusting family-professional partnerships. Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 51(3), 281–293. http://www.jstor.org/stable/24827524 

Francis, G. L., Gross, J. M. S., Blue-Banning, M., Haines, S., & Turnbull, A. P. (2016). Principals and parents achieving optimal outcomes: Lessons learned from six American schools implementing inclusive practices. Revista Latinoamericana de Inclusión Educativa, 10(1), 61-77.

Choi, J. H., Meisenheimer, J. M., McCart, A. B., & Sailor, W. (2017). Improving learning for all students through equity-based inclusive reform practices: Effectiveness of a fully integrated schoolwide model on student reading and math achievement. Remedial and Special Education, 38(1), 28-41. https://doi.org/10.1177/0741932516644054 

Artiles, A. J., & Kozleski, E. B. (2016). Inclusive education’s promises and trajectories: Critical notes about future research on a venerable idea. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 24(43), 1-24. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.24.1919 

Algozzine, B., Morsbach Sweeney, H., Choi, J. H.,Horner, R., Sailor, W., McCart, A. B., Satter, A., & Lane, K. L. (2016). Development and preliminary technical adequacy of the Schoolwide Integrated Framework for Transformation Fidelity of Implementation Tool. Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 35(3), 302-322. https://doi.org/10.1177/0734282915626303 



Gross, J. M. S., Haines, S. J., Hill, C., Francis, G. L., Blue-Banning, M., & Turnbull, A. P. (2015). Strong school–community partnerships in inclusive schools are “part of the fabric of the school.…we count on them.”  School Community Journal, 25(2), 9-34.

Shogren, K., McCart, A., Lyon, K., & Sailor, W. (2015). All means all: Building knowledge for inclusive schoolwide transformation. Research & Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 40(3), 173-191. https://doi.org/10.1177/1540796915586191

Haines, S.J., Gross, J. M. S., Blue-Banning, M., Francis, G. L., & Turnbull, A. P. (2015). Fostering family–school and community–school partnerships in inclusive schools. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 40(3), 227–239. https://doi.org/10.1177/1540796915594141

Kozleski, E.B., Yu, T., Satter, A. L., Francis, G. L., & Haines, S. J. (2015). A Never Ending Journey: Inclusive education is a principle of practice, not an end game. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 40(3), 211–226. https://doi.org/10.1177/1540796915600717

Kurth, J., Lyon, K., & Shogren, K. (2015). Supporting students with severe disabilities in inclusive schools: A descriptive account from schools implementing inclusive practices. Research & Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 40(4), 261-274. https://doi.org/10.1177/1540796915594160 

Morningstar, M. E., Shogren, K. A., Lee, H., & Born, K. (2015). Preliminary lessons about supporting participation and learning in inclusive classrooms. Research and Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 40(3), 192-210. https://doi.org/10.1177/1540796915594158

Shogren, K., Gross, J., Forber-Pratt, A., Francis, G., Satter, A., Blue-Banning, M., & Hill, C. (2015). The perspectives of students with and without disabilities on inclusive schools. Research & Practice for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 40(4), 242-260. https://doi.org/10.1177/1540796915583493 

Sailor, W. (2015). Advances in schoolwide inclusive school reform. Remedial and Special Education, 36(2), 94-99. https://doi.org/10.1177/0741932514555021 

McCart, A. B., Sailor, W. S., Bezdek, J. M., & Satter, A. L. (2014). A framework for inclusive educational delivery systems. Inclusion, 2(4), 252-264. https://doi.org/10.1352/2326-6988-2.4.252


Sailor, W., & McCart, A. (2014). Stars in alignment. Research & Practices for Persons with Severe Disabilities, 39(1), 55-64. https://doi.org/10.1177/1540796914534622 


Learn more about SWIFT partners and how we are working together to improve outcomes for every student.