Ed Week has an interesting article here about the difficulty schools have in finding commercial learning programs that have been well researched before being marketed.
After 37 years of teaching high school English I am a complete cynic about any commercial learning programs. What I wanted for my students was access to a large library of books and access to a computer for writing. Really, what else did I need? A program so my students could track how many times clothes imagery came up in Macbeth? Give me a break.
A teacher is Massachusetts has a great blog piece on educational research here: http://literacyinleafstrewn.blogspot.com/2013/04/economics-research-is-better-than.html
He shows how minimal the research actually is.