WWC review of this study

Springfield-Chicopee School Districts Striving Readers (SR) Program. Final Report Years 1-5: Evaluation of Implementation and Impact [READ 180 vs. business as usual]

Sprague, Kimberley; Zaller, Colleen; Kite, Anita; Hussar, Karen (2012). Education Alliance at Brown University. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED600926

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
    , grade

Reviewed: October 2021

At least one finding shows moderate evidence of effectiveness
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards with reservations
Measures of general reading proficiency and English Language Arts outcomes—Statistically significant positive effect found for the domain
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
Significant? Improvement

Stanford Diagnostic Reading Test, Edition 4 (SDRT-4)

READ 180® vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Full sample - Read 180 vs BAU (complete cases ITT);
456 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.

  • 3% English language learners

  • Female: 57%
    Male: 43%

  • Urban
    • 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

  • Race
    Other or unknown


The study was conducted in five schools within two school districts, Chicopee and Springfield, in western Massachusetts.

Study sample

The study was conducted with five separate cohorts across five academic years. In each of the five study years, ninth-grade students in five study schools were screened for eligibility before random assignment. Students at least two—but less than four—grade levels behind in reading performance for their grade level were selected to participate in the study. Students were excluded from the sample if (1) they had an Individualized Education Program that specified reading supports not compatible with Xtreme Reading; (2) they lacked sufficient English language proficiency; (3) their parents opted them out of the study; (4) they were enrolled in an off-campus evening school; (5) they were deemed not to be a “struggling reader” based on grade history and past scores on the English language arts state test; or (6) they could not be located in school enrollment records. The authors separately contrasted the literacy outcomes of students in the Xtreme Reading condition to those of students in the READ 180® and business-as-usual conditions. There were 456 students in the analytic sample for the Read 180® vs. business as usual comparison group contrast. Seventy-one percent of students were eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. Eighteen percent of students had an Individualized Education Plan. Three percent of students were English language learners. The sample was 43% male and 57% female. Twenty-seven percent of students were White, and 73% were not specified.

Intervention Group

The study examined the effectiveness of a reading intervention for students struggling with reading. The READ 180® intervention was delivered as a 90-minute daily supplement to the standard ninth-grade English language arts (ELA) course. A typical daily session included 20 minutes of whole-class instruction, 60 minutes of small-group breakouts involving direct instruction, independent work using program software, and modeled or independent reading. In addition, the intervention included recommended instructional strategies and instructional materials, including videos and interactive work texts. The READ 180® curriculum was paced to be completed over 125-145 school days; the average number of sessions attended by each student was not reported.

Comparison Group

Students in the comparison condition received the standard ELA course (as did students in the intervention condition), as well as supplemental services ordinarily available to all students. In practice, comparison group students had minimal access to supplemental services. None of the comparison group teachers reported having any past experience with the READ 180® program, and they did not receive formal professional development in literacy instruction beyond what was customarily provided to all teachers. The use of multimedia appears to have been much more limited in the comparison group than in the intervention group.

Support for implementation

Teachers implementing the intervention were required to participate in professional development activities. Those implementing READ 180® for the first time were required to complete 52 hours of professional development over the course of the year in online training (7 sessions), group seminars (up to 30 hours), and individual face-to-face sessions (up to 16 hours). Less professional development was required of more experienced users: teachers with 3 years of prior READ 180® experience had to complete only 8 hours of professional development, and those implementing their fifth year did not have to complete any professional development.


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