WWC review of this study

The Voyager Universal Literacy System: Results from a study of kindergarten students in inner-city schools.

Frechtling, J. A., Zhang, X., & Silverstein, G. (2006). Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, 11(1), 75–95. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ733704

  • Quasi-Experimental Design
     examining 
    398
     Students
    , grade
    K
Meets WWC standards with reservations

Reviewed: June 2016

Study sample characteristics were not reported.
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards with reservations

Reviewed: August 2007

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

Woodcock Reading Mastery Test (WRMT): Word Attack subtest

Voyager Universal Literacy System® vs. business as usual

Pretest

Kindergarten;
398 students

4.73

1.34

Yes

 
 
27
More Outcomes

Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP): Segmenting Words subtest

Voyager Universal Literacy System® vs. business as usual

Pretest

Kindergarten;
398 students

3.66

1.35

Yes

 
 
25

Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP): Blending Nonwords subtest

Voyager Universal Literacy System® vs. business as usual

Pretest

Kindergarten;
398 students

2.67

1.33

Yes

 
 
23

Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP): Blending Words subtest

Voyager Universal Literacy System® vs. business as usual

Pretest

Kindergarten;
398 students

4.89

3.14

Yes

 
 
18

Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS): Letter Naming Fluency subtest

Voyager Universal Literacy System® vs. business as usual

Pretest

Kindergarten;
398 students

39.39

35.05

Yes

 
 
10

Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP): Phoneme Elision subtest

Voyager Universal Literacy System® vs. business as usual

Pretest

Kindergarten;
398 students

3.47

2.76

Yes

 
 
9

Woodcock Reading Mastery Test (WRMT): Word Identification subtest

Voyager Universal Literacy System® vs. business as usual

Pretest

Kindergarten;
398 students

9.83

8.31

No

--

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.


  • 90% Free or reduced price lunch
  • Race
    Black
    95%

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    District of Columbia, Ohio

Setting

Eight schools from Cleveland, Ohio, and Washington, DC, were included in the study.

Study sample

The study included 447 Kindergarten students. The final analysis sample included 398 students (202 intervention and 196 comparison students). Over 95% of students were African-American and almost 90% of students qualified for free or reduced price lunch.

Intervention Group

Students received two hours of the Voyager Universal Literacy System® program daily, which included whole group instruction (20 minutes); differentiated, small group instruction, including two student-led independent stations and one teacher-led station (70 minutes); and a teacher-facilitated writing activity (30 minutes). According to study authors, 9 of 11 teachers demonstrated high or moderate fidelity to the intervention and 2 demonstrated low fidelity.

Comparison Group

The comparison condition used the schools’ existing reading program and the teachers were already familiar with the curriculum. The study authors noted that comparison schools used reading activities that explicitly addressed phonemic awareness, phonics, and sight words and that literacy skills were also integrated into other lessons. Small groups were routinely used in literacy instruction. One comparison school had large numbers of students who resided in a homeless shelter or domestic violence center, and another accepted students from out of the typical school boundaries through a lottery. According to study authors, these characteristics may have led to lower and higher parental involvement, respectively.

Outcome descriptions

Measures used for both pretests and posttests include the Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP) Elision, Blending Words, Blending Nonwords, and Segmenting Words subtests; the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) test of Letter Naming Fluency; and the Woodcock Reading Mastery Test Revised (WRMT-R) Word Identification and Word Attack subtests.2 (See Appendix A2.1–2.2 for more detailed descriptions of outcome measures.)

Support for implementation

Voyager Universal Literacy System® training includes an initial two-day session for district and campus coaches and a three-day training session for teachers. There were also eight 3-hour professional development modules throughout the school year. In addition, Voyager Universal Literacy System® staff periodically observed teachers during the reading block to assess implementation fidelity.

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.

  • Frechtling, J., Zhang, X., & Wang, L. W. (2004). Evaluation of the Voyager Universal Literacy System: Year 2. Retrieved from Voyager Expanded Learning Web site: http://www.voyagerlearning.com/docs/difference/report_studies/WESTAT_Voyager_2004_3.pdf.

  • Frechtling, J., Silverstein, G., & Zhang, X. (2003). Evaluation of the Voyager Universal Literacy System. Retrieved from Voyager Expanded Learning Web site: http://www.voyagerlearning.com/docs/difference/report_studies/Westat.pdf.

 

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