Practice Guide (findings for Fusion Reading)
Meets WWC standards with reservations
because it uses a cluster quasi-experimental design that provides evidence of effects on individuals by satisfying the baseline equivalence requirement for the individuals in the analytic intervention and comparison groups.
This review may not reflect the full body of research evidence for this intervention.
Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.
Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.
| Other or unknown
The study took place in three middle schools in a medium-sized urban school district located in the Midwest.
The sample was all sixth grade, and students were in special education with Individualized Education Plans. Eighty-six percent were identified with learning disabilities and 4 percent had a hearing impairment. Sixty-five percent of students were White, and 55 percent received free or reduced-price lunches. Males made up 67.50 percent of the analytic sample.
The study examined the effectiveness of a reading intervention for students struggling with reading. The Fusion Reading is a supplemental program that includes curriculum and professional development components and is typically implemented over a two-year period. In this study, outcomes were measured after one school year of program implementation. Fusion Reading is delivered in small groups (three to eight students) and is designed for students in grades six to eight who are two to five years below reading level; this study included students in grade six. The Fusion Reading curriculum is scripted and has seven instructional units to be used every instructional day. In this study, Fusion Reading was implemented in small groups of 3 to 8 students in 50-minute lessons, 5 times per week during the school year. (For this review, the focus is just on the first year of program implementation; the study includes details on the second year of Fusion Reading implementation, but that is not included in this review.) The curriculum includes four components: (1) word-level skills, (2) comprehension, (3) motivation, and (4) assessment. The program emphasizes teaching students reading comprehension, decoding, and other reading objectives with step-by-step strategies.
Comparison condition teachers implemented their business as usual curriculum, Corrective Reading, which is a direct instruction program that focuses on reading accuracy (decoding), fluency, and comprehension skills of students. All lessons in the program are sequenced and scripted. Corrective Reading has four levels that address students’ decoding skills and six levels that address students’ comprehension skills. The program was implemented in small groups of 4 to 8 students in 50-minute lessons, 5 times per week during the school year. All comparison teachers were experienced in teaching the program, and also received professional development that focused on Corrective Reading implementation. Although not the focus of this review, in year 2 of the study, both groups had been exposed to the intervention as all teachers implemented Fusion Reading.
Support for implementation
During the first year of implementation (the focus of this review), teachers received professional development for three days prior to the start of the first school year and three days in the spring semester. Teachers also received ongoing instructional coaching. (Teachers also received training for one day before the start of the second year, and four days in the spring of the second year; this year of implementation is not of focus in this review.)