A central principle of NCLB is that states, districts, schools, and teachers adopt instructional practices backed by evidence of effectiveness from scientifically based research. This principle has created a demand for rigorous evaluation evidence currently unavailable for many education programs and subject areas. For this reason, the Department's evaluation strategy for Title I features a strong emphasis on evaluation studies that are designed to produce rigorous scientific evidence on the effectiveness of specific education programs and practices that are critical to the effective use of Title I funds.
At the second meeting of the Independent Review Panel on March 17-18, 2003, presentations were made by reading and mathematics experts on what we know and need to know in these areas to raise student achievement. Ultimately, three large-scale evaluations have been undertaken. Findings from the first study, examining the effects of remedial reading programs for 3rd and 5th graders, are included in Volume II, Closing the Reading Gap, Findings from a Randomized Trial of Four Reading Interventions for Striving Readers. Impacts on student achievement at the end of the intervention year, as well as impacts one year after the interventions ended, can be found below in Section A. Closing the Reading Gap. Evaluations of the effectiveness of reading comprehension interventions for 5th graders and of early elementary math curricula were started during the 2006-07 school year. A full description of the two latter evaluations are described below in Section B. Future Reports. The rationales for these three large-scale evaluations of specific interventions are described briefly below in Sections A and B.