Craig T. Ramey, Georgetown Center on Health and Education
Sharon L. Ramey, Georgetown Center on Health and Education
Abstract: The Georgetown University Center on Health and Education partnered with Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) to develop and improve Head Start/Prekindergarten programs. A Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) was conducted with 24 teachers/classrooms assigned to one of three curriculum and coaching conditions: (1) Building Language for Literacy (BLL) curriculum plus Weekly Coaching, (2) BLL plus Monthly Coaching, and (3) the Comparison condition. BLL is a curriculum informed by scientific finding about how children learn language to acquire literacy skills (Neuman & Snow).
The 263 children enrolled in these 24 classrooms were assessed using measures of pre-reading in the fall and spring using the Test of Early Reading Ability (TERA), Concepts about Print, Get it Got it Go!, and What I Think of School. Classrooms were observed using the Early Language and Literacy Classroom Observation (ELLCO) and the Ramey and Ramey Observation of Learning Essentials. All children, regardless of curriculum and coaching condition, showed significant gains from fall to spring and reported overwhelmingly positive perceptions of their school experience. Children in the BLL plus Weekly Coaching classrooms had significantly higher TERA Reading Quotients (M=95.57; SD=13.69) than children in the comparison classrooms (M=89.96; SD=13.69), and showed greater gains on the Picture Naming subtest of the Get it Got it Go! assessment. Classrooms with the Weekly and Monthly Coaching also had significantly higher scores on the ELLCO.