WWC review of this study

Fast ForWord® evaluation, 2002–03 (Eye on Evaluation, E&R Report No. 03. 24).

Overbay, A., & Baenen, N. (2003). Raleigh, NC: Wake County Public School System.

  • Quasi-Experimental Design
     examining 
    710
     Students
    , grades
    3-8
No statistically significant positive
findings
Meets WWC standards with reservations

Reviewed: March 2013

Comprehension outcomes—Substantively important negative effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

North Carolina End-of-Grade Test

Fast ForWord® vs. Unknown

Posttest

Grade 3;
142 students

243.2

245.9

No

-13
 
 

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • 73% Free or reduced price lunch

  • Female: 48%
    Male: 52%
  • Race
    Asian
    0%
    Black
    89%
    Native American
    0%
    White
    10%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic
    1%
    Not Hispanic
    99%
    • B
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    North Carolina

Setting

The study was conducted at public schools in Wake County, North Carolina.

Study sample

During the 2002–03 school year, 80 third-grade students received the Fast ForWord® program. Of these, 71 were matched with students from non-Fast ForWord® schools based on race, limited English proficiency status, a special programs code, free and reduced-price lunch status, and reading pretest scores. Nine students were missing either pre- or posttest scores. Fast ForWord® was used in six elementary schools, and the comparison students were taken from schools that did not use Fast ForWord®.

Intervention Group

For the entire range of grades and intervention group students in the study, 91% used Fast ForWord® Language, 56% used Fast ForWord® Language to Reading, and 13% used Fast ForWord® to Reading.

Comparison Group

No information is provided.

Outcome descriptions

North Carolina’s End of Grade test was used as both the pretest and the posttest. For a more detailed description of this outcome measure, see Appendix B.

Support for implementation

No information is provided.

No statistically significant positive
findings
Meets WWC standards with reservations

Reviewed: August 2010

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

North Carolina End of Grade Test

Fast ForWord® vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grades 4-8;
710 students

154.37

155.37

No

--
More Outcomes
Show Supplemental Findings

North Carolina End of Grade Test

Fast ForWord® vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grade 5;
148 students

156.07

155.76

No

--

North Carolina End of Grade Test

Fast ForWord® vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grade 8;
146 students

157.7

158.18

No

--

North Carolina End of Grade Test

Fast ForWord® vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grade 7;
224 students

155.7

156.86

No

--

North Carolina End of Grade Test

Fast ForWord® vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grade 6;
78 students

149.8

151.59

No

--

North Carolina End of Grade Test

Fast ForWord® vs. Business as usual

Posttest

Grade 4;
114 students

148.39

150.9

No

-14
 
 

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • 5% English language learners

  • 29% Free or reduced price lunch

  • Female: 47%
    Male: 53%
  • Race
    Asian
    3%
    Black
    34%
    Not specified
    2%
    White
    53%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic
    7%
    Not Hispanic
    93%

  • Urban
    • B
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    North Carolina

Setting

The study took place in one school district (10 treatment schools) in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Study sample

During the 2002–03 school year, 616 third- to eighth-grade students received the Fast ForWord® program. Of these, 426 were matched with students from non-Fast ForWord® schools based on race, limited English proficiency status, a special programs code, free and reduced-price lunch status, and reading pretest scores. The remaining 190 were missing either pre- or posttest scores and, therefore, were not included in the matching process. The analysis sample for this review included students in grades 4–8: 355 students in the Fast ForWord® group and 355 in the comparison group.1 Fast ForWord® was used in 10 elementary, middle, and high schools, and the comparison students were selected from schools that did not use Fast ForWord®. Additional findings reflecting students’ outcomes by grade can be found in Appendix A4.

Intervention Group

During the school year, the intervention group used Fast ForWord® Language, Fast ForWord® Language to Reading, and Fast ForWord® Reading. Most of the Fast ForWord® participants (91.4%) used Fast ForWord® Language; the majority (60%) used more than one level of the program. The 8.6% who did not use Fast ForWord® Language had completed it in 2001–02.

Comparison Group

The counterfactual in this study is regular classroom instruction. However, the study authors note that students in the comparison group may have been exposed to a variety of other programs or interventions that were not controlled for in this study.

Outcome descriptions

For both pre- and posttests, the authors used the End of Grade Reading Subtest. For a more detailed description of this outcome measure, see Appendix A2.3.

Support for implementation

No information about teacher or staff training was provided.

 

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