A Direct Challenge

Direct Instruction is just curriculum that uses direct, systematic, and explicit instruction. Any one of the direct instruction curricula would improve academic performance if it were used in the MMSD.
This comes from an Education Week article in 1999:

When an independent research group evaluated the research backing up 24 popular school reform models this year, it found two surprises.
The first surprise was that only three programs could point to strong evidence that they were effective in improving student achievement. The second surprise was that Direct Instruction, a program long scorned by many educators and academics for its lock-step structure, was one of them.
Direct Instruction grew out of studies on the teaching of beginning reading that Siegfried Engelmann began at the University of Illinois in the 1960s. Thirty years later, only 150 schools across the country use on a schoolwide basis the program he developed. By comparison, Success for All, another reform model with high marks for its solid research base, is used in more than 1,100 schools.
Thousands more schools, however, use Direct Instruction’s commercially produced materials–usually in remedial classrooms, special education resource rooms, or special programs for disadvantaged students.
“We were sort of like the plague for regular education,” says Mr. Engelmann, now 67 and a professor at the University of Oregon. “Regular education would have nothing to do with us. It wasn’t until the last few years that we started to break the mold.”