The study took place in eight school districts in rural southern Ohio. The number of participating
schools was not provided in the study.
Eighteen third-grade teachers from eight school districts volunteered to participate in this
quasi-experimental study. They were matched on school district and years of teaching experience
and equally divided into two groups. In the analysis sample, the CIRC® group included
198 students in nine classrooms, and the comparison group included 194 students in nine
classrooms. Each of the two groups of children was divided into three ability levels (lowest
33%, middle 33%, and upper 34%) based on the students’ California Achievement Test (CAT)
total reading score percentile rankings (administered prior to implementation of CIRC®). These
subgroup results are presented in Appendix D.2.
Students in the nine intervention classes were given only the reading components of the
CIRC® program: basal-related activities, partner reading, story structure, words out loud, word
meaning, story retelling, spelling, direct instruction in reading comprehension, and independent
reading. The composition component of the CIRC® intervention was not used. The study
reported student outcomes after one school year of program implementation.
Students in the comparison group received their regular reading curriculum, which was not
described in the study. Teachers in the comparison group were promised CIRC® training at the
completion of the study, and six of them were subsequently trained.
Teachers administered four CAT measures in the fall of 1990 and in the spring of 1991: Reading
Vocabulary, Reading Comprehension, Total Reading, and Word Analysis. (Note that the Total
Reading measure is comprised of Reading Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension.) Findings
for the Total Reading and Word Analysis outcomes can be found in Appendix C.1. Subtest
findings for Reading Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension can be found in Appendix D.1.
For a more detailed description of these outcome measures, see Appendix B.
Support for implementation
The teachers received a one-day (six-hour) training in CIRC® by a certified trainer, as well as
the project supplemental materials. Following training, the teachers were given assistance via
observation and behavioral consultation sessions (approximately 15–30 minutes). Teachers
also attended three half-day meetings during the study year to discuss implementation issues.
The teachers in the comparison group were promised CIRC® training and materials upon
completion of the study’s collection of outcome data.