Reading Instruction

Issue Focus

The Importance of Evidence

July, 2014

In this essay, adapted from remarks made to the Growth Philanthropy Network/Social Impact Exchange 2014 Conference on Scaling Impact, MDRC President Gordon Berlin explains why developing reliable evidence of effectiveness is critical when expanding programs to a large scale.

Brief

The Implementation and Effectiveness of a One-on-One Tutoring Program Delivered by Community Volunteers

June, 2014
Robin Tepper Jacob, Thomas J. Smith, Jacklyn Willard, Rachel E. Rifkin

After one year, Reading Partners, a one-on-one tutoring program delivered by volunteers, improved three different measures of reading proficiency for second- to fifth-graders — impacts equaling 1.5 to 2 months of growth in literacy achievement over a control group (who also received supplemental reading services).

Report

Early Findings from the Investing in Innovation (i3) Scale-Up

October, 2013
Janet Quint, Rekha Balu, Micah DeLaurentis, Shelley Rappaport, Thomas J. Smith, Pei Zhu

Success for All, a whole-school reading reform, received a federal Investing in Innovation (i3) scale-up grant in 2010 to expand to additional elementary schools. This report examines the program’s implementation and its impact in 2011-2012, the first year of operation, on kindergartners’ early reading.

Report

Report on Program Impacts, Program Fidelity, and Contrast

December, 2012
William Corrin, James J. Lindsay, Marie-Andrée Somers, Nathan E. Myers, Coby V. Meyers, Christopher A. Condon, Janell K. Smith

The Content Literacy Continuum combines whole-school and targeted approaches to supporting student literacy and content learning, using instructional routines and learning strategies. This report describes implementation and impact findings from a random assignment study involving 33 high schools in nine school districts.

Improving the reading performance of at-risk elementary students is one of the greatest challenges confronting American education. Success for All, a program aimed at ensuring that every child learns to read throughout the elementary grades, was one of the most carefully evaluated approaches to improving reading among high-poverty elementary school students at the time...

Report

Findings from an Evaluation of the Formative Assessments of Student Thinking in Reading (FAST-R) Program in Boston Elementary Schools

December, 2008
Janet Quint, Susan Sepanik, Janell K. Smith

This report contains findings from an evaluation of a program in the Boston Public Schools that seeks to improve reading instruction and student learning through one type of data-driven instruction. The program provides teachers with formative assessments that they can use to measure what students do and do not know, along with professional development on how to understand and use the data generated by those assessments. The study looks at FAST-R’s effects on reading scores among third- and fourth-graders.

Brief

What We Know, What We Don’t, and What’s Next

June, 2009
Corinne Herlihy, James J. Kemple, Howard Bloom, Pei Zhu, Gordon Berlin

Studies of Reading First released in 2008 found no overall effect on student reading comprehension, and the program was eliminated in 2009. However, the research findings were more nuanced than was widely reported, and they offer lessons for policymakers making critical choices today about how the federal government can best support the teaching of reading to young children.

Report

Context, Components, and Initial Impacts on Students’ Performance and Attendance

December, 2004
Corinne Herlihy, James J. Kemple

During the first three years of implementation in six urban schools, The Talent Development Middle School model—an ongoing, whole-school reform initiative—had a positive impact on math achievement for eighth-graders but appeared to produce no systematic improvement in outcomes for seventh-graders.

Report

Context, Components, and Initial Impacts on Ninth-Grade Students’ Engagement and Performance

June, 2004
James J. Kemple, Corinne Herlihy

An examination of the implementation and early impacts of Talent Development, a whole-school reform initiative, found that the model produced substantial gains in ninth-grade students’ course completion and promotion rates.

Report
September, 2008
Michael S. Garet, Stephanie Cronen, Marian Eaton, Anja Kurki, Meredith Ludwig, Wehmah Jones, Kazuaki Uekawa, Audrey Falk, Howard Bloom, Fred Doolittle, Pei Zhu, Laura Sztejnberg

This report presents findings on the effectiveness of two specific professional development strategies on improving the knowledge and practice of second-grade teachers in high-poverty schools and on the reading achievement of their students.

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