The student analysis sample included in this report is drawn from 18 high schools eligible for Title I funding in the Miami–Dade County Public School district.
Analysis sample. The ninth- and tenth-grade samples are the only samples which meet WWC
evidence standards with reservations. Therefore, they are presented in this report. After dropping
the unmatched students, students with missing information, and students who were no longer
enrolled in an IR+ class in the same school in spring 2008, the TOSCRF and FCAT analytic high
school samples included 640 students and 632 students, respectively. As no information on the
extent of overlap between the two analytic samples was provided in the study, the WWC review
process treats them as two distinct samples. The TOSCRF student sample included 320 students
(190 ninth graders and 130 tenth graders) who used the LANGUAGE!® curriculum and 320
students (190 ninth graders and 130 tenth graders) who used the comparison curriculum in the
IR+ classes. The FCAT sample included 316 students (194 ninth graders and 122 tenth graders)
who used the LANGUAGE!® curriculum and 316 students (194 ninth graders and 122 tenth
graders) who used the comparison curriculum in the IR+ classes.
Characteristics of district and study schools. In 2006, 68% of ninth graders and 73% of
tenth graders in the district scored below proficient (Level 2 or below) on the FCAT. During the
2005–06 school year:
• between 1,547 and 4,509 students attended the study high schools.
• the percentage of students in study high schools that were eligible for free or reducedprice
lunch ranged from 40% to 68%.
• Black and Hispanic students represented between 77% and 99% of the student
population in study high schools.
Characteristics of the TOSCRF student sample. Among the TOSCRF analytic sample:
• Forty-seven percent of ninth graders and 40% of tenth graders were female.
• Hispanic students represented 52% of ninth graders and 42% of tenth graders, while
Black students represented 43% of ninth graders and 55% of tenth graders.
• About 68% of ninth graders and 59% of tenth graders were eligible for free or
• Thirty-one percent of ninth graders and 33% of tenth graders were classified as
receiving special education services.
Characteristics of the FCAT student sample. The demographic characteristics of the FCAT
sample were similar to the TOSCRF sample. Among the FCAT student sample:
• Thirty-six percent of ninth graders and 48% of tenth graders were female.
• Hispanic students represented 52% of ninth graders and 39% of tenth graders, while
Black students represented 45% of ninth graders and 56% of tenth graders.
• About 66% of ninth graders and 58% of tenth graders were eligible for free or
• Thirty-six percent of ninth graders and 32% of tenth graders were classified as receiving
special education services.
The intervention was delivered during the daily IR+ class, which typically lasted 90 minutes.
The lessons were administered by the teacher to the whole classroom with some days set
aside for differentiated instruction throughout the school year. Schools received a pacing
guide designed to facilitate the completion of two book levels, out of six levels (book levels
A-F described under program details), during the year. The intervention lasted a full academic
year. The study team rated teachers on the fidelity of implementation of the curriculum. Fiftyfour
percent of teachers received a medium fidelity rating, and 46% of teachers received a low
All comparison classrooms used the same commercially published curriculum in their daily IR+ class, which typically lasted 90 minutes (the study authors did not provide the name of the curriculum). The curriculum focused on strengthening reading and writing skills and developing vocabulary. Typically, 20 minutes of class time was spent on whole-group, direct instruction; 60 minutes was spent on small-group rotations; and 10 minutes was spent on whole-group, wrap-up instruction. The small-group rotations took the form of small-group direct instruction, technology-based individualized instruction, and modeled and independent reading.
The outcomes are gain scores for the TOSCRF and FCAT reading scores, i.e., gains in the
TOSCRF and FCAT reading scores from the prior administration of the test to the current test.
The TOSCRF was administered to the participating classes by study staff in October and then
again seven months later. The FCAT is a state-wide assessment given each spring. For a more
detailed description of these outcome measures, see Appendix B.
Support for implementation
Sopris West, the program publisher at the time of the study, was contracted to provide professional
development to support teachers’ implementation of the LANGUAGE!® curriculum. The
intervention teachers attended a two-day training session before the school year. During the
school year, teachers, coaches, and mentors received school visits from LANGUAGE!® trainers
and National Trainers, who conducted classroom observations, provided individual coaching
and professional development for teachers, modeled lessons, and held question-and-answer
sessions. Coaches and school administrators received a half-day of initial training and a day of
training in the fall and spring. The comparison teachers received the usual professional development
services provided by their schools.