WWC review of this study

Final reading outcomes of the national randomized field trial of Success for All.

Borman, G.D., Slavin, R. E., Cheung, A., Chamberlain, A.M., Madden, N. A., & Chambers, B. (2007). American Educational Research Journal, 44(3), 701–731. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ782058

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
     examining 
    1,936
     Schools
    , grades
    1-3
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations

Reviewed: February 2018

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

Woodcock Reading Mastery Test Revised (WRMT-R): Word Attack subtest

(Not applicable) vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
1,936 students

493.48

486.26

Yes

 
 
15
More Outcomes

Woodcock Reading Mastery Test (WRMT): Word Identification subtest

(Not applicable) vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
1,928 students

462.34

455.12

No

 
 
10
Comprehension outcomes—Indeterminate effects found
Outcome
measure
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
mean
Comparison
mean
Significant? Improvement
index

Woodcock Reading Mastery Test-Revised (WRMT-R): Passage Comprehension subtest

(Not applicable) vs. Business as usual

0 Days

Full sample;
1,935 students

480.54

476.66

No

--

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • Female: 50%
    Male: 50%

  • Suburban, Urban
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    Midwest, South

Setting

The students in the study sample are enrolled in 41 high-poverty schools in 11 U.S. states. The schools are generally located in urban Midwest and small town South locations.

Study sample

The sample is predominantly minority and receives free or reduced-price lunch. Approximately 10% of the sample is in special education and 50% is female.

Intervention Group

Success for All is a school wide literacy program that focuses on early detection of reading problems. The Kindergarten program is a full-day thematically based program that focuses on language and literacy development. In grades 1 to 5, the program allows students to be regrouped across grades for reading lessons that target different reading performance levels.

Comparison Group

Comparison schools continued using their regular, previously planned curriculum for grades K–2 (Success for All was implemented in grades 3–5). Authors conducted observations at all schools and indicated that there was no evidence that when SFA was implemented in grades 3–5, students in grades K–2 were also exposed to SFA.

Support for implementation

Success for All teachers received three days of training during the summer and approximately 8 days of on-site follow-up during the first implementation year. Success for All Foundation trainers visited classrooms, met with groups of teachers, looked at data on children’s progress, and provided feedback to school staff on implementation quality and outcomes.

At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations

Reviewed: March 2017

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

Woodcock Reading Mastery Test Revised (WRMT-R): Word Attack subtest

Success for All® vs. Business as usual

3 Years

Grade: 2;
1,936 students

493.48

486.26

Yes

 
 
15
More Outcomes

Woodcock Reading Mastery Test Revised (WRMT–R): Word Identification subtest

Success for All® vs. Business as usual

3 Years

Grade: 2;
1,928 students

462.34

455.12

No

 
 
10
Show Supplemental Findings

Woodcock Reading Mastery Test Revised (WRMT-R): Word Attack subtest

Success for All® vs. Business as usual

2 Years

Grade: 1;
38 schools

N/A

N/A

No

--

Woodcock Reading Mastery Test - Revised (WRMT-R): Letter identification

Success for All® vs. Business as usual

2 Years

Grade: 1;
38 schools

N/A

N/A

Yes

 
 
7

Woodcock Reading Mastery Test- Revised (WRMT-R): Word Identification subtest

Success for All® vs. Business as usual

2 Years

Grade: 1;
38 schools

N/A

N/A

No

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

Woodcock Reading Mastery Test-Revised (WRMT-R): Passage Comprehension subtest

Success for All® vs. Business as usual

3 Years

Grade: 2;
1,935 students

480.54

476.66

Yes

 
 
9
More Outcomes

Gates-MacGinitie Reading Tests (GMRT): Reading subtest

Success for All® vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Grade: 3;
2,420 students

451.6

451.6

No

--
Show Supplemental Findings

Woodcock Reading Mastery Test Revised (WRMT-R): Passage Comprehension subtest

Success for All® vs. Business as usual

2 Years

Grade: 1;
38 schools

N/A

N/A

No

--

Gates-MacGinitie Reading Tests (GMRT): Reading subtest

Success for All® vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Grade: 3, at grade level;
662 students

487.65

487.7

No

--

Gates-MacGinitie Reading Tests (GMRT): Reading subtest

Success for All® vs. Business as usual

1 Year

Grade: 3, below grade level;
1,474 students

435.79

435.8

No

--

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • 7% English language learners

  • 72% Free or reduced price lunch

  • Female: 50%
    Male: 50%
  • Race
    Black
    57%
    Not specified
    13%
    White
    31%
  • Ethnicity
    Hispanic
    10%
    Not Hispanic
    90%
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    Alabama, Arizona, California, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania

Setting

The analysis sample included 41 elementary schools across 12 states located in rural and small towns in the South and urban areas of the Midwest.

Study sample

The study used a cluster randomized controlled trial design. The study piloted the SFA® program in fall 2001, when three schools were randomly assigned to SFA® and three schools were randomly assigned to the comparison condition. In fall 2002, 35 new schools were recruited, with 18 schools randomly assigned to implement SFA® in grades K–2 and 17 schools randomly assigned to implement SFA® in grades 3–5. In Borman et al. (2007), the K–2 group had been the focus, with the 3–5 group providing the comparison. For the K–2 analyses, the study combined the two cohorts of schools and presented findings after the intervention students completed 1, 2, and 3 years of SFA®. The authors used two samples to evaluate the effectiveness of the SFA® program: a sample that focused on students who were present in schools at the time of baseline and outcome assessments (referred to as the “longitudinal sample” in the study), and a sample that included all students who were given the outcome measure (referred to as the “combined longitudinal and in-mover sample” in the study). Both samples may include students who moved into the study schools after random assignment. For the effectiveness rating, the WWC focused on third-year findings from the larger (combined) sample of students. Six schools were lost to attrition and reduced the third-year analytic sample to 35 schools. The third-year analyses focused on second-grade students who were in kindergarten when implementation began, and consisted of 1,011 students in 18 SFA® schools and 925 students in 17 comparison schools. The 18 intervention schools were comprised of 61% minority students, and in the 17 comparison schools, 73% of students were minorities. The percentage of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch was 66% in intervention schools, and 77% in comparison schools. For the grade 3–5 analyses (Hanselman & Borman, 2013), the authors only used the fall 2002 cohort of schools, but flipped the comparison, using the K–2 group as an experimental control to estimate the effect of the SFA® literacy instruction in grades 3–5. For the grade 3–5 analyses, the study included two cohorts of students, referred to as “primary” and “secondary” in the study. Students in the primary cohort began using the SFA® reading programs in grade 3, while students in the secondary cohort began using the SFA® reading programs in grade 4. This report focuses on the primary cohort of students who were in third grade in 2002–03 and experienced the program over 1 year of the study. Their reading achievement outcomes were measured in the spring of the third grade. The analytic sample included 1,197 students in 17 SFA® schools and 1,223 students in 18 comparison schools. Some students in the analytic sample moved into the schools between random assignment and the posttest. At baseline in the fall of 2002, the percentage of minority students in 17 intervention schools was 83%, while the percentage of minority students in the 18 comparison schools was 75%. The percentage of students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch was 86% in intervention schools and 75% in comparison schools.

Intervention Group

Students in intervention group received the SFA® whole-school reform program, including the SFA® reading curriculum, tutoring for students’ quarterly assessments, family support teams for students’ parents, a facilitator who worked with school personnel, and training for all intervention teachers. Students were regrouped from across grade levels into reading classes based on their reading level. Classroom instruction was structured around direct instruction, cooperative work in small groups, and regular individual assessments. Some schools took a year to fully implement the program. For intervention schools that implemented SFA® in grades 3–5, students received Reading Wings, the SFA® reading curriculum for elementary students at the second-grade level and above. The curricular focus throughout lessons was on comprehension of complex text. No intervention students had prior exposure to the K–2 SFA® curriculum.

Comparison Group

For the grades K–2 analyses, comparison schools continued using their regular curriculum for grades K–2. In the second cohort of schools recruited in 2002, SFA® was implemented in grades 3–5 in comparison schools (in comparison schools recruited in 2001, no grade levels implemented SFA®). Authors conducted observations at all schools and indicated that students in grades K–2 were not exposed to classroom-level components of SFA® in schools that implemented the intervention in grades 3–5. However, K–2 students in these comparison schools may have had access to some schoolwide components of the grades 3–5 SFA® intervention, such as family support. If comparison students in grades K–2 used these services, the study’s estimate of the effectiveness of SFA® may not reflect the full impact of the schoolwide components of SFA® on outcomes. For the grades 3–5 analyses, no information is provided on the instruction in grades 3–5 used in the comparison condition. No comparison students had prior exposure to the K–2 SFA® curriculum. While the SFA® school reform program was concurrently implemented in grades K–2 in the comparison schools, SFA® monitored the intervention and comparison classrooms during quarterly visits and found no evidence that the comparison classrooms in grades 3–5 had adopted any of the SFA® components.

Support for implementation

SFA® teachers received 3 days of training during the summer and approximately 8 days of on-site follow-up during the first implementation year. Success for All Foundation trainers visited classrooms, met with groups of teachers, looked at data on children’s progress, and provided feedback to school staff on implementation quality and outcomes.

In the case of multiple manuscripts that report on one study, the WWC selects one manuscript as the primary citation and lists other manuscripts that describe the study as additional sources.

  • Borman, G. D., Slavin, R. E., Cheung, A., Chamberlain, A., & Madden, N. A. (2004). Success for All: Preliminary first-year results from the national randomized field trial. Baltimore, MD: Success for All Foundation.

  • Borman, G. D., Slavin, R. E., Cheung, A., Chamberlain, A. M., Madden, N. A., & Chambers, B. (2005). The national randomized field trial of Success for All: Second-year outcomes. American Educational Research Journal, 42(4), 673–696.

  • Borman, G. D., Slavin, R. E., Cheung, A., Chamberlain, A. M., Madden, N. A., & Chambers, B. (2005). Success for All: First-year results from the national randomized field trial. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 27(1), 1–22.

  • Hanselman, P., & Borman, G. D. (2013). The impacts of Success for All on reading achievement in grades 3–5: Does intervening during the later elementary grades produce the same benefits as intervening early? Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 35(2), 237–251.

  • Slavin, R. E., Madden, N. A., Cheung, A., Chamberlain, A., Chambers, B., & Borman, G. (2005). A randomized evaluation of Success for All: Second-year outcomes. Baltimore, MD: Success for All Foundation.

 

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