The Ohio State University received a grant from the US department of education in 2010 to scale up the use of Reading Recovery at schools across the United States. The study took place at a sample of schools receiving i3 scale-up grants. The schools randomly assigned 1st grade students who were struggling readers as of the beginning of the school year to either receive Reading Recovery or normal classroom instruction.
"Demographic data for gender, ELL status, and race were presented. These data were only available for 862, 860, and 856 students from the analysis sample, respectively. There were no significant differences in these characteristics between students in the treatment and control groups. Free/reduced price lunch data were not available, though these data are being collected for the 2012-13 year of the evaluation.
In the treatment group 61% of the students were male, 17% were ELL, 18% were Black, 22% were Hispanic, 57% were White, and 3% were categorized as other race.
In the control group 61% of the students were male, 18% were ELL, 19% were Black, 20% were Hispanic, 56% were White, and 5% were categorized as other race."
"The intervention, Reading Recovery (RR), is intended to last between 12 and 20 weeks. The intervention involves a daily 30 minute pull-out session of one-on-one instruction with a trained reading recovery teacher (who is not the child's normal 1st grade teacher). Each RR teacher was supposed to work with 4 students each day. Teachers successfully worked with all four students 73 percent of the time, with most failures to work with all four students resulting from student absences.
Each RR session began ""... with re-reading familiar books and a running record."" This was followed by ""... word or letter work on the wallboard; story composition; assembling a cut-up sentence; and finally previewing and reading a new book."" The teachers surveyed in the study reported high fidelity in the implementation of RR lessons.
As implemented: Students worked one-on-one with a Reading Recovery teacher for 30 minutes each day over a period that varied from 12 to 20 weeks. The sessions, which were tailored to each individual student's needs as determined by frequent progress monitoring, included re-reading familiar books, word or letter work on a wallboard, story composition, assembling sentences from a cut-up story, and previewing and reading a new book. The location of the sessions (in the regular classroom or pull-out) was not reported."
Students in the control group continued to receive normal classroom instruction and were not pulled out for the one-on-one sessions with RR teachers during the intervention period. After the mid-year administration of the post-test, students in the comparison group were eligible to receive instruction in RR during the remainder of the school year.
Support for implementation
Reading Recovery (RR) teachers participated in training sessions at designated facilities or at the schools where the teachers worked. The teachers were expected to learn how to design individualized daily lessons and deliver these lessons, document the lessons, and to collect and make use of data on student progress. The teacher learning was supported in three main ways: (1) Teachers completed a one week course in the summer that addressed the interpretation and scoring of the Observation Survey of Early Literacy Achievement (the pre-test given to students in the evaluation to assess their reading level). (2) Teachers completed an 8-10 credit year long academic course taught by a RR teacher leader. During this course RR teachers provided one-on-one lessons to four RR students and attend weekly 3-hour training sessions run by their teacher leader. (3) RR teachers received visits from their teacher leader during which the leader observed their RR lessons and provided feedback.