The study took place in 42 high schools across California and Pennsylvania.
The researchers randomly assigned 22 schools to the intervention group and 20 schools to the comparison group.
A total of 10,173 students in grades 9 through 12 were included in the sample for the literacy outcome assessed at the end of the second year of implementation. The 10,173 students were in 42 high schools. Across all full-sample findings that meet WWC standards, samples sizes ranged from 10,173 to 11,426 students.
Among the literacy sample, approximately 45% of the students were female, 47% were eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, 11% were English learners, and 10% were reported as receiving special education services. Forty-eight percent were White, 8% were Asian, 5% were Black, and 39% either reported other race or did not report race. Thirty-eight percent were Hispanic or Latino.
Reading Apprenticeship® is a professional development program that aims to help teachers improve students’ literacy skills that are needed in core subjects, such as English, science, or social studies. The program aims to help high school students adopt strategies and routines used by proficient readers, improve their comprehension skills, motivate them to read more, and enjoy reading. Teachers in the intervention group implemented Reading Apprenticeship Improving Secondary Education (RAISE), which was designed to scale up Reading Apprenticeship® to new locations and settings. RAISE enhancements included (1) recruitment and training of a cadre of professional development facilitators, (2) appointment of state site coordinators to support schools, (3) recruitment of teacher leaders to hold monthly meetings to support teachers, and (4) support to school administrators that included an online course on the Reading Apprenticeship® framework. Teachers in the intervention group taught at least one class in English language arts, history, or science at the time of random assignment. They implemented the intervention with whole classes. The intervention’s effects were measured in the second year of implementation, after participating teachers received a full year of professional development.
Students in the comparison group received business-as-usual instruction. Comparison teachers may have participated in other business-as-usual training and professional development offered by their schools or school districts.
Support for implementation
The program was implemented by WestEd's Strategic Literacy Initiative (SLI). WestEd staff recruited and trained professional development facilitators, appointed site coordinators, recruited school-based teacher leaders, and provided support and resources to school administrators including an on-line course on the Reading Apprenticeship® framework. Each year, SLI provided 10 days (65 hours) of professional development to up to nine Reading Apprenticeship® teachers in each school. A group of teacher leaders also supported intervention teachers, with at least one teacher leader supporting each school. The teacher leaders were responsible for convening monthly team meetings at their schools to support teachers’ implementation of Reading Apprenticeship®.