WWC review of this study

Reading improvement report: Miami-Dade regions II and III.

Reading Plus. (2008). Huntington Station, NY: Taylor Associates/Communications, Inc.

  • Quasi-Experimental Design
     examining 
    13,128
     Students
    , grades
    5-9
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards with reservations

Reviewed: September 2010

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

Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT): Reading

Reading Plus® vs. Another intervention

spring 2007

Grade 5-9;
13,128 students

1554.54

1538.59

Yes

 
 
2

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • 22% English language learners
  • Race
    Black
    45%
    White
    8%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic
    45%
    Not Hispanic
    55%

  • Urban
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    Florida

Setting

The study was conducted in 98 schools located in two regions that are part of the Miami-Dade School District in Florida. The participating schools served more than 90% minority students and 22% English language learners, and 15% of the student population received special education services.

Study sample

This quasi-experimental study was conducted in 98 schools and included students in grades 5 to 9 who had valid 2006 and 2007 Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) reading scores. Students who completed one or more Reading Plus® lessons during the 2006–07 school year formed the intervention group, and students who completed no Reading Plus® lessons during the same period constituted the comparison group. Although Reading Plus® was used by students in various grades and student populations within each of the 98 schools, this review focuses on students who scored at achievement level 1 or 2 (non-proficient) on the 2006 reading portion of the FCAT. The analysis sample consisted of 6,070 low-achieving students in the Reading Plus® group and 7,058 low-achieving students in the comparison group.

Intervention Group

Reading Plus® is a computer-based program that is implemented online. It encompasses the following activities: instant word recognition practice with less familiar words, reading practice with text difficulty matched to each student’s reading ability, exposure to high-utility words within assigned texts, attention building activities, sustained reading time matched with each student’s attention span, vocabulary building, word acquisition activities, and practice with 25 comprehension skills. The participating schools implemented Reading Plus® to varying degrees. Most schools followed a schedule of either two 45-minute sessions per week or three 30-minute sessions per week for approximately six months. The average number of lessons completed by students participating in the study was 33.

Comparison Group

Comparison students completed no Reading Plus® lessons. Most nonparticipating students used Scholastic’s Read 180 and/or Renaissance Learning’s Accelerated Reader.

Outcome descriptions

For both the pretest and the posttest, students took the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT). Reading comprehension was measured using the developmental scaled scores on the reading section of the FCAT. For a more detailed description of this outcome measure, see Appendix A2.

Support for implementation

Intervention teachers were trained on the use and intent of Reading Plus® during the fall of 2006. No other information is available about the training.

 

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