Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Reading Recovery Works!

The Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) has released a promising evaluation  of Reading Recovery, a popular program used for early intervention with students at-risk for low literacy outcomes. The intensive program pairs low-achieving first graders with a trained Reading Recovery teacher for 30 minutes of one-on-one work over a period of 12 to 20 weeks.

Because of positive results from a previous study, the US Department of Education granted funds to expand the program in 2010, and the evaluation took place during this period of growth. Resources were used to train over 2,000 new Reading Recovery teachers, allowing more than 23,000 students to receive individualized services. In addition, nearly 114,000 children received from whole-class or small-group instruction.

The results were impressive. Reading Recovery students outscored the control group on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) by an average of 14 to 16 percentage points. In addition, ITBS indicated that these students had attained 1.4 months’ worth of reading improvement more than a control group, which was taught using a different curriculum.

CPRE’s findings are even more striking when one considers that the Reading Recovery students were previously identified as being at-risk. Early detection and remediation of reading difficulties is critical, and we’re delighted that this simple program can strengthen the potential of the most vulnerable kids.

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