WWC review of this study

Ready, Set, Leap! program: Newark prekindergarten study 2002-2003 final report.

RMC Research Corporation. (2003). Retrieved from LeapFrog SchoolHouse website: http://www.leapfrogschoolhouse.com/content/research/ RMC_RSLreport.pdf.

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    254
     Students
    , grade
    PK
No statistically significant positive
findings
Meets WWC standards without reservations

Reviewed: October 2008

Early reading/writing outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Woodcock-Johnson III (WJ-III): Passage Comprehension subtest

Ready, Set, Leap!® vs. High/Scope

Posttest

4 year olds;
254 students

5.89

5.69

No

--
Oral language outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test III (PPVT-III)

Ready, Set, Leap!® vs. High/Scope

Posttest

4 year olds;
254 students

56.73

56.59

No

--
Phonological processing outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP): Blending Words subtest

Ready, Set, Leap!® vs. High/Scope

Posttest

4 year olds;
254 students

4.24

3.18

No

 
 
11
More Outcomes

Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS): Initial Sound Fluency subtest

Ready, Set, Leap!® vs. High/Scope

Posttest

4 year olds;
254 students

11.03

9.58

No

--

Woodcock-Johnson III (WJ-III): Sound Awareness-Rhyming subtest

Ready, Set, Leap!® vs. High/Scope

Posttest

4 year olds;
254 students

5.49

4.92

No

--
Print knowledge outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Woodcock-Johnson III (WJ-III): Letter-Word Identification subtest

Ready, Set, Leap!® vs. High/Scope

Posttest

4 year olds;
254 students

13.59

12.94

No

--
More Outcomes

Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS): Letter Naming Fluency subtest

Ready, Set, Leap!® vs. High/Scope

Posttest

4 year olds;
254 students

23.63

24.76

No

--

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • Female: 55%
    Male: 45%
  • Race
    Black
    44%
    White
    15%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic
    37%
    Not Hispanic
    63%

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    New Jersey

Setting

The study took place in 17 preschools in Newark, New Jersey.

Study sample

Seventeen schools were randomly assigned either to an intervention (N = 8) or a comparison (N = 9) group. The study began with 308 inner-city, low-income preschool children enrolled in 34 classrooms in these 17 schools. The researchers excluded seven of the 34 classrooms because they included only children with moderate to severe disabilities. An additional 20 children were lost to attrition, resulting in a final sample of 254 children. The final sample included 129 children in the intervention group and 125 children in the comparison group. At posttest, the mean age of the children in the intervention group was 4.5 years; 57% were female; and 51% were African-American, 42% Hispanic, 5% Caucasian, and 2% Asian or other race/ethnicity. At posttest, the mean age of the children in the comparison group was 4.5 years; 53% were female; and 37% were African-American, 32% Hispanic, 24% Caucasian, and 7% Asian or other race/ethnicity. The difference in the proportion of minority students was statistically significant.

Intervention Group

Ready, Set, Leap!® is a prekindergarten curriculum that focuses on developing early reading skills such as phonemic awareness, letter knowledge, and letter-sound correspondence. For the study, the curriculum was integrated into the existing High/Scope framework. According to the developer's website (www.highscope.org), High/Scope is a flexible framework for setting up and managing a preschool classroom. “Active learning” is a central tenet of the approach in which children are encouraged to learn through direct, hands-on experiences. Adults support that learning through scaffolding and interaction, using techniques such as focusing on children’s strengths and problem solving. As in the comparison classrooms, letter names were taught daily. Information on implementation in the intervention classrooms was gathered through several methods, such as classroom observations, and the authors concluded that the curriculum was not fully implemented in all classrooms.

Comparison Group

The comparison classrooms also used the High/Scope framework. As in the intervention classrooms, letter names were taught daily. Although classroom observations were collected of the comparison classrooms, no information about the implementation of the High/Scope curriculum in these classrooms was provided.

Outcome descriptions

The primary outcome domains assessed were children’s oral language, print knowledge, phonological processing, and early reading/writing. Oral language was assessed with the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test-III (PPVT-III). Print knowledge was assessed with the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) Letter Naming Fluency subtest and the Woodcock-Johnson III (WJ III) Letter-Word Identification subtest. Phonological processing was assessed with the DIBELS Initial Sound Fluency subtest, the WJ III Sound Awareness-Rhyming subtest, and the Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP) Blending Words subtest. Early reading/writing was assessed with the WJ III Passage Comprehension subtest. For a more detailed description of these outcome measures, see Appendix A2.1-2.4.

Support for implementation

The intervention group teachers received three days of training on the Ready, Set, Leap!® curriculum over the course of the year.

 

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