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Effectiveness of Selected Supplemental Reading Comprehension Interventions: Findings from Two Student Cohorts

Results after two years of using three reading comprehension curricula show gains from one program and no effects for the other two on reading comprehension for fifth-graders, according to a study released by the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance in the Institute of Education Sciences. The study focused on whether 5th grade students in disadvantaged schools could be helped in making the transition from "learning to read" to "reading to learn" by bolstering the vocabulary and comprehension skills that allow them to organize and acquire knowledge from text.

Three commercially available supplemental reading comprehension curricula were used for a second year by school and teachers to teach explicit reading comprehension strategies—ReadAbout, Read for Real, and Project CRISS. The study included 182 teachers and 61 schools in 10 districts, with study schools within each district assigned by lottery to use one of the curricula or serve as a control group.

No positive impacts of the curricula on student reading comprehension were found in the study's first year. Key findings after two years of using the curricula include:

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