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 Pub Number  Title  Date
REL 2021084 Effectiveness of Early Literacy Instruction: Summary of 20 Years of Research
Children entering kindergarten vary greatly in their language and literacy skills. Therefore, up-to-date information about evidence-based practices is essential for early childhood educators and policymakers as they support preschool children’s language and literacy development. This study used a process modeled after the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) methodology to systematically identify effective early childhood curricula, lesson packages, instructional practices, and technology programs in studies conducted from 1997 to 2017. More than 74,000 studies were analyzed to identify interventions that improved students' performance in six language and literacy domains (language, phonological awareness, print knowledge, decoding, early writing, and general literacy). The study team identified 132 interventions evaluated by 109 studies that the study team determined were high-quality experimental or quasi-experimental studies. The WWC's evidence standards are used to assess the quality of an evaluation study and the strength of its claims about whether an intervention caused the observed effect on student achievement. To better understand the effectiveness of the interventions, their implementation characteristics and instructional features were coded for the relevant language and literacy domains. The findings revealed that instruction that teaches a specific domain is likely to increase performance in that domain. Interventions that teach language exclusively might be more beneficial when conducted in small groups or one-on-one than in larger group sizes. In addition, teaching both phonological awareness and print knowledge might benefit performance in print knowledge. Finally, some evidence indicates that instruction that teaches both phonological awareness and print knowledge might also lead to improvements in decoding and early writing performance.
REL 2009083 Features of State Response to Intervention Initiatives in Northeast and Islands Region States
The report documents the results of a search of state education agency web sites in the nine Northeast and Islands Region jurisdictions for publicly available information related to RTI (response to intervention). It finds that seven jurisdictions have developed state documents on RTI that address core features of RTI identified by the National Research Center on Learning Disabilities: high quality classroom instruction, research-based instruction, classroom performance, universal screening, continuous progress monitoring, research-based interventions, progress monitoring during interventions, and fidelity measures. Six of these jurisdictions had documents addressing all eight core features (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont), and one (Rhode Island) had documents addressing seven. Documents are also categorized by theme: whether the state education agency required RTI as a component of the special education eligibility process, whether the state education agency used or encouraged a three-tiered RTI model, whether a self-assessment or local plan was required before implementing RTI at the local level, and whether the state education agency supported or funded RTI pilot sites. The seven jurisdictions used or promoted RTI as an approach to supporting struggling students in general education or for determining eligibility for special education at the local level. The most commonly found document types were nonregulatory guidance (six states), followed by regulations (four states). The document review could not shed light on the extent of RTI use at the local level. While there was no evidence of RTI policies or procedures on the public state education agency web sites for two jurisdictions (Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands), that cannot be taken as evidence that the two jurisdictions do not allow RTI.
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