Practice Guide (findings for Expository Reading and Writing Course (ERWC))
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.
Rural, Suburban, Town, Urban
| Other or unknown
| Not Hispanic or Latino
Eligible for Free and Reduced Price Lunch
| Other or unknown
The study took place in grade 12 English language arts classrooms across 24 high schools in nine school districts in California. Most of the schools were located in urban areas but six were classified as suburban and three as rural.
A total of 4,941 students in grade 12 English language arts classrooms were included in the study: 3,309 students in the intervention schools, and 1,632 students in the comparison schools. For the analyses, comparison students were reweighted to match the intervention group sample size. Thus, the full study sample included 6,618 students.
The study classrooms were taught by 56 teachers in the intervention schools and 58 teachers in the comparison schools. Approximately 51% of the students in the study sample were female. Twenty-six percent of the students were White, 23% were Asian, 5% were Black, and 46% did not report race. Forty-six percent of the students were Hispanic or Latino. To be included in the study, students needed to perform at the Early Intermediate performance level on the California English Language Development Test (CELDT) in Grade 11. Students who were receiving special education services or who were receiving English instruction from a novice teacher were excluded from the study.
Students in the intervention schools received the year-long Expository Reading and Writing Course (ERWC) program that was developed by a task force of California State University faculty and high school educators to improve student literacy skills and better prepare them for college-level English courses. The ERWC is a program that consists of a classroom curriculum, teacher professional learning, and curriculum materials for teachers and students. The curriculum includes 12 modules. Each module has three parts: Reading Rhetorically, Connecting Reading to Writing, and Writing Rhetorically. Teachers are expected to teach 8 to 10 of the modules and one full-length book each semester. In this study, 63% of the intervention teachers taught at least 8 of 12 modules. However, the study reported that just 18% of intervention teachers delivered at least 8 modules with adequate fidelity.
Students in the comparison schools received business-as-usual grade 12 English language arts instruction typically offered at their schools. About 45% of students in the comparison group enrolled in English 4 in grade 12, and about 46% enrolled in AP English Literature; the remainder enrolled in World Literature or another course.
Support for implementation
As a condition of becoming eligible to teach the ERWC course, intervention teachers participated in 20 hours of professional learning prior to the study period. Intervention teachers participated in additional professional learning over the study period, which included a two-day summer session, professional learning community meetings, and coaching sessions. The study reported that 96% of teachers attended both days of the summer session, 95% participated in coaching, and 73% participated in professional learning community meetings.