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May 2008

From the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (NCEE)

Reading First Impact Study: Interim Report

Created under the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001, the Reading First program provides assistance to states and districts in using research-based reading programs and instructional materials for students in kindergarten through third grade and in introducing related professional development and assessments. The program's purpose is to ensure that increased proportions of students read at or above grade level, have mastery of the essential components of early reading, and that all students can read at or above grade level by the end of grade 3. The law requires that an independent, rigorous evaluation of the program be conducted to determine if the program influences teaching practices, mastery of early reading components, and student reading comprehension. This interim report, released May 1, presents the impacts of Reading First on classroom reading instruction and student reading comprehension during the 2004-05 and 2005-06 school years. The evaluation found that Reading First did have positive, statistically significant impacts on the total class time spent on the five essential components of reading instruction promoted by the program. The study also found that, on average across the 18 study sites, Reading First did not have statistically significant impacts on student reading comprehension test scores in grades 1-3. A final report on the impacts from 2004-2007 (three school years with Reading First funding) and on the relationships between changes in instructional practice and student reading comprehension is expected in late 2008. view report

The Enhanced Reading Opportunities Study: Early Impact and Implementation Findings

This report, released on January 28, presents early findings from an evaluation of the impact of two supplemental literacy programs that aim to improve the reading comprehension skills and school performance of struggling ninth-grade readers. The report describes the effects of the programs on the first cohort of students entering high school two to five years behind grade level in reading. Taken together, the programs produced a statistically significant impact on reading comprehension among students who were randomly assigned to participate in the supplemental literacy programs compared to those who did not participate in the programs. There were no statistically significant impacts on student achievement in vocabulary or student use of reading behaviors promoted by the programs. view report

WWC Releases Intervention Reports

The What Works Clearinghouse released four new intervention reports since January. For more information about the reports, visit What Works Clearinghouse.

Turning Around Chronically Low-Performing Schools: A Practice Guide

On May 5, the What Works Clearinghouse released Turning Around Chronically Low-Performing Schools: A Practice Guide. The guide includes specific recommendations for use by educators who aim to quickly and dramatically improve student achievement in low-performing schools and indicates the quality of the evidence that supports the recommendations. This is the fourth in a series of IES practice guides.