WWC review of this study

Literacy learning of at-risk first-grade students in the Reading Recovery early intervention.

Schwartz, R. M. (2005). Journal of Educational Psychology, 97(2), 257–267. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ688444

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    74
     Students
    , grade
    1
Meets WWC standards without reservations

Reviewed: June 2016

Study sample characteristics were not reported.
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations

Reviewed: July 2013

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

Observation Survey of Early Literacy Achievement: Word Recognition subtest

Reading Recovery® vs. business as usual

Mid-Year

Grade 1;
74 students

14.96

8.87

Yes

 
 
41
More Outcomes

Yopp-Singer Test of Phoneme Segmentation

Reading Recovery® vs. business as usual

Mid-Year

Grade 1;
74 students

17.7

15.27

No

 
 
18

Deletion task

Reading Recovery® vs. business as usual

Mid-Year

Grade 1;
74 students

6.64

5.58

No

 
 
16

Observation Survey of Early Literacy Achievement: Letter Identification subtest

Reading Recovery® vs. business as usual

Mid-Year

Grade 1;
74 students

52.18

51.68

No

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

Degrees of Reading Power (DRP) Test

Reading Recovery® vs. business as usual

Mid-Year

Grade 1;
74 students

4.82

4.27

No

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

Observation Survey of Early Literacy Achievement: Dictation subtest

Reading Recovery® vs. business as usual

Mid-Year

Grade 1;
74 students

35.58

29.08

Yes

 
 
38
More Outcomes

Observation Survey of Early Literacy Achievement: Concepts About Print subtest

Reading Recovery® vs. business as usual

Mid-Year

Grade 1;
74 students

19.24

16.68

Yes

 
 
35

Observation Survey of Early Literacy Achievement: Writing Vocabulary subtest

Reading Recovery® vs. business as usual

Mid-Year

Grade 1;
74 students

42.67

31

Yes

 
 
33
Reading fluency outcomes—Statistically significant positive effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Observation Survey of Early Literacy Achievement: Text Reading subtest

Reading Recovery® vs. business as usual

Mid-Year

Grade 1;
74 students

0.78

0.05

Yes

 
 
49
More Outcomes

Slosson Oral Reading Test– Revised

Reading Recovery® vs. business as usual

Mid-Year

Grade 1;
74 students

30.58

18.12

Yes

 
 
32

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • Female: 47%
    Male: 53%
  • Race
    Asian
    2%
    Black
    40%
    White
    46%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic
    12%
    Not Hispanic
    88%

Setting

The study took place in an unspecified number of elementary schools in 14 states.

Study sample

The study was designed to examine the effect of Reading Recovery® on the outcomes of firstgrade students. Forty-seven Reading Recovery® teachers each identified two students7 eligible for Reading Recovery® based on their low scores on the Observation Survey of Early Literacy Achievement and their own judgment. These 94 students were randomly assigned to enter the Reading Recovery® program during either the first or second half of the school year. [Note: The study also included two additional comparison groups of 47 low-average and 47 high-average readers from the same classrooms as the Reading Recovery® students who were not expected to participate in the Reading Recovery® program. Analysis involving these comparison groups was not eligible for WWC review because the WWC considers only comparisons of students with similar achievement backgrounds in assessing the effectiveness of an intervention.] Because of missing test data, the author’s final analytic sample included 74 students distributed across 37 teachers.

Intervention Group

Students participated in the one-on-one daily 30-minute tutoring program for up to 20 weeks or until they were judged by their teacher to have met the criteria for termination of the program by reaching average levels of literacy performance. The length of program participation ranged from 12 to 20 weeks. Originally, participants were taught by 47 Reading Recovery® teachers who had volunteered to be part of the study, but because of missing test data, data from only 37 teachers and 37 students were included in the author’s final analysis. The intervention group was 61% male, 47% Black, 38% White, 12% Hispanic, and 3% Asian. About 60% of the group received free or reduced-price lunch.

Comparison Group

The comparison group included students who were randomly assigned to receive Reading Recovery® during the second half of the year. Thus, these participants served as a comparison group only during the first part of the year when they received instruction in their regular classroom but no additional supplemental services. The final analysis included data from 37 teachers and 37 students. The comparison group was 41% male, 47% White, 38% Black, and 15% Hispanic. Approximately 57% of the group received free or reduced-price lunch.

Outcome descriptions

The study author reported outcomes on ten literacy measures, all of which were included in the WWC review and ratings of effectiveness. Six reported subtests of the Observation Survey were included in the WWC review of this study: two in the alphabetics domain, including Letter Identification and Word Recognition; one in the fluency domain (Text Reading Level); and three in the general reading achievement domain, including Concepts About Print, Dictation, and Writing Vocabulary. The study author also reported two additional outcome measures that fall into the alphabetics domain, Phoneme Segmentation and Deletion task, one additional outcome in the fluency domain, Slosson Oral Reading Test–Revised, and one outcome in the comprehension domain, Degrees of Reading Power. For a more detailed description of the included outcome measures, see Appendix B.

Support for implementation

Although the study provided no information about training provided to participating teachers, Reading Recovery® teachers typically must complete a year-long certification program.

 

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