Our Research Mission

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is committed to developing innovative educational programs and professional services that are grounded in learning science evidence and efficacy. We collaborate with school districts and third-party research organizations to conduct research that provides information to help improve educational outcomes for students, teachers, and leaders at the classroom, school, and district levels. We believe strongly in a mixed-methods approach to our research—an approach that provides meaningful and contextualized information and results.

Evidence-based research is an integral part of our product development cycle, and is conducted in a continuous feedback loop. This process applies to instructional programs, learning assessments, professional services, and implementation strategies. The process starts with the application of learning science, review of the relevant research and study of the evidence base. We employ continuous learning about programs and student performance to inform product enhancements and future product development—and most important, to ensure student and educator success.

Based on a rich history of education research experience, our Evidence-Based Research Life Cycle references current language from ESSA as well as the “Common Guidelines for Education Research and Development,” a report produced by the Institute of Education Sciences, the U.S. Department of Education, and the National Science Foundation (2013).


The following is a framework that guides us in our efforts to study the impact of our educational programs and services in order to most efficiently and effectively serve the unique needs of all students.

ESSA Research

Research Lifecycle