WWC review of this study

Project CRISS: Validation report for the Program Effectiveness Panel.

Horsfall, S., & Santa, C. (1994). Unpublished manuscript.

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
    , grades

Reviewed: June 2010

At least one finding shows promising evidence of effectiveness
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Comprehension outcomes—Statistically significant positive effect found for the domain
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
Significant? Improvement

Free call assessment

Project CRISS® vs. Business as usual


Grade 4;
118 students





Free call assessment

Project CRISS® vs. Business as usual


Grade 6;
113 students





Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.

    • B
    • A
    • C
    • D
    • E
    • F
    • G
    • I
    • H
    • J
    • K
    • L
    • P
    • M
    • N
    • O
    • Q
    • R
    • S
    • V
    • U
    • T
    • W
    • X
    • Z
    • Y
    • a
    • h
    • i
    • b
    • d
    • e
    • f
    • c
    • g
    • j
    • k
    • l
    • m
    • n
    • o
    • p
    • q
    • r
    • s
    • t
    • u
    • x
    • w
    • y



The study took place across three different settings: (1) Kalispell School District, MT, a rural district in northwestern Montana that serves primarily white students; (2) Putnam County School District, FL, a district in central Florida that serves a population composed of white (77%), black (20%), and Hispanic students; and (3) Stafford School District, VA, a district in suburban Washington, DC that serves primarily white students.

Study sample

Sixteen intact classrooms of students in grades 4, 6, 8, and 11 participated in the study during the 1991–92 school year; however, only analysis of grades 4 and 6 were included in this review.1 Teachers within each of three schools were randomly assigned either to Project CRISS® or to the control condition. Teachers assigned to the intervention received CRISS training; control group teachers did not. Within each grade level, 4 and 6, there were three classrooms assigned to Project CRISS® and three classrooms assigned to the control group. Four or five students in each class were excluded from analyses due to attrition; there was no attrition of teachers. In all, the analysis sample consisted of 120 students attending six Project CRISS® classrooms and 111 students attending six control group classrooms.

Intervention Group

Intervention group students received Project CRISS® strategies as part of their regular instruction for approximately 18 weeks during one semester

Comparison Group

Control group students received regular instruction and were not given Project CRISS® strategies.

Outcome descriptions

For both the pretest and posttest, students took the staff-developed “free recall” tests that require students to remember details from a passage read the day before. For a more detailed description of this outcome measure, see Appendix A2.

Support for implementation

Teachers assigned to the intervention received Project CRISS® training. Districts selected a local facilitator to coordinate the program. The facilitator organized a 12-hour training conducted over two consecutive days. During this training, trainers modeled Project CRISS® strategies, and teachers were given the opportunity to apply each of the Project CRISS® strategies to their own curriculum materials. After teachers completed the training, the facilitator worked with project staff to set up a follow-up session three to six months after the completion of the final training session. Teachers frequently met to share Project CRISS® ideas before or after school or during duty-free periods. In addition, Project CRISS® trainers provided follow-up assistance for teachers through on-site visits, demonstration lessons, newsletters, and a computer network.


Your export should download shortly as a zip archive.

This download will include data files for study and findings review data and a data dictionary.

Connect With the WWC

back to top