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The Impact of a Reading Intervention for Low-Literate Adult ESL Learners

NCEE 2011-4003
December 2010


This study represents a collaborative effort of adult education programs, schools, teachers, researchers, students and the developers of the text Sam and Pat. We appreciate the willingness of the programs, schools, teachers and students to volunteer for the study, try new instructional materials and approaches, and respond to many requests for data and access to classrooms.

We were also fortunate to have the advice of an expert technical working group. Members included Russell Gersten, University of Oregon's Instructional Research Group; Daphne Greenberg, Georgia State University; Larry Hedges, Northwestern University; Robinson Hollister, Swarthmore College; Rebecca Maynard, formerly at the University of Pennsylvania, now at the Institute of Education Sciences (IES); Robin Scarcella, University of California-Irvine; and Anne Whiteside, City College of San Francisco. We also benefitted from the informed feedback on the report from Terry Salinger and Dan Sherman at the American Institutes for Research (AIR).

We would like to thank the Sam and Pat team who provided the teacher training and guidance during the study, including Jo Anne Hartel, Whit Hendon, Betsy Lowry, and John Strucker of World Education. We also thank the Mathematica team led by Susan Sprachman and Kathy Buek for leading the student pre- and post-testing for the study; John Sabatini, Jane Shore and Jennifer Lentini at the Educational Testing Service (ETS) for making sense of the test data and ensuring data quality; Anestine Hector-Mason, Dahlia Shaewitz, Suzannah Herrmann, and Lauren Amos for coordinating and conducting the classroom observations; Erin Hamilton, Andrea Harvey, and Erika Salomon for their support to the staff conducting data collection and processing; Castle Sinicrope at Berkeley Policy Associates (BPA) for analysis support; and all the AIR, BPA, Lewin Group, and Mathematica Policy Research, Inc. staff who worked with programs and schools to make the study happen: Mike Fishman, Mary Farrell, Karen Gardiner, Bret Barden, Rachel Augustin, Rachel Cook, Serena Retna, Sophie Shen, Lynne Blankenship, Julie Young, Anne Self, Chris Pefaure, and Savitha Moorthy.