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 Pub Number  Title  Date
WWC IRL679 Intervention Report: Leveled Literacy Intervention
Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) is a short-term, supplementary, small-group literacy intervention designed to help struggling readers achieve grade-level competency. The intervention provides explicit instruction in phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, reading comprehension, oral language skills, and writing. LLI helps teachers match students with texts of progressing difficulty and deliver systematic lessons targeted to a studentís reading ability.
This What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) report on READ 180 updates the WWC's 2009 review of the program to incorporate reviews of 71 new studies and assess all studies against current WWC standards. READ 180 is a reading program designed for struggling readers who are reading two or more years below grade level. Based on this updated review of the research, the WWC found READ 180 to have positive effects on comprehension and general literacy achievement, potentially positive effects on reading fluency, and no discernible effects on alphabetics for adolescent readers.
NCEE 20164001 Summary of Research Generated by Striving Readers on the Effectiveness of Interventions for Struggling Adolescent Readers
The Striving Readers program aimed to raise the literacy levels of middle and high school students reading below grade level and to build a strong research base on effective adolescent literacy interventions. This report summarizes the results of a systematic review of evaluations of the ten different interventions funded by the Striving Readers grant program in 2006 and 2009. Twelve of the 17 evaluations met What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) evidence standards without reservations, three evaluations met WWC evidence standards with reservations, and two evaluations did not meet WWC evidence standards. Based on findings from the evaluations found to meet WWC evidence standards with or without reservations, four of the ten interventions funded by Striving Readers had positive, potentially positive, or mixed effects on reading achievement. Three of these four interventions had not previously been reviewed by the WWC.
REL 2015077 Comparing Methodologies for Developing an Early Warning System: Classification and Regression Tree Model Versus Logistic Regression
The purpose of this report was to explicate the use of logistic regression and classification and regression tree (CART) analysis in the development of early warning systems. It was motivated by state education leaders' interest in maintaining high classification accuracy while simultaneously improving practitioner understanding of the rules by which students are identified as at-risk or not at-risk readers. Logistic regression and CART were compared using data on a sample of grades 1 and 2 Florida public school students who participated in both interim assessments and an end-of-the year summative assessment during the 2012/13 academic year. Grade-level analyses were conducted and comparisons between methods were based on traditional measures of diagnostic accuracy, including sensitivity (i.e., proportion of true positives), specificity (proportion of true negatives), positive and negative predictive power, and overall correct classification. Results indicate that CART is comparable to logistic regression, with the results of both methods yielding negative predictive power greater than the recommended standard of .90. Details of each method are provided to assist analysts interested in developing early warning systems using one of the methods.
NCSER 20143000 Improving Reading Outcomes for Students with or at Risk for Reading Disabilities: A Synthesis of the Contributions from the Institute of Education Sciences Research Centers
The report describes what has been learned regarding the improvement of reading outcomes for children with or at risk for reading disabilities through research funded by the Institute's National Center for Education Research and National Center for Special Education Research and published in peer-reviewed outlets through December 2011. The synthesis describes contributions to the knowledge base produced by IES-funded research across four focal areas:
  • Assessment: What have we learned about effective identification and assessment of students who have or are at risk for reading difficulties or disabilities?
  • Basic Cognitive and Linguistic Processes: What are the basic cognitive and linguistic processes that support successful reading and how can these skills be improved for students who have or who are at risk for reading disabilities?
  • Intervention: How do we make reading instruction more effective for students who have or are at risk for developing reading disabilities? How do we teach reading to students with low incidence disabilities?
  • Professional Development: How do we bring research-based instructional practices to the classroom?
LANGUAGE! is a language arts intervention designed for struggling learners in grades 3-12 who score below the 40th percentile on standardized literacy tests. The curriculum integrates English literacy acquisition skills into a six-step lesson format. After reviewing 16 studies on the effects of LANGUAGE! on the literacy skills of adolescent readers, the WWC determined that one study meets WWC evidence standards with reservations. The study used a quasi-experimental design and included 1,272 students in grades 9 and 10 in one school district in Florida. Based on this study, the WWC found LANGUAGE! to have no discernible effects on both reading fluency and comprehension for adolescent readers.
WWC IRL615 SpellRead
SpellRead is a small-group literacy program for struggling readers that integrates the auditory and visual aspects of the reading process and emphasizes specific skill mastery through systematic and explicit instruction. The WWC reviewed 14 studies that investigated the effects of SpellRead on the reading achievement of adolescent readers. Two of these studies meet WWC evidence standards without reservations. Both studies were randomized controlled trials and included 137 adolescent readers in grades 5 and 6 in Pennsylvania and Newfoundland, Canada. Based on these two studies, the WWC found that SpellRead has potentially positive effects on alphabetics, reading fluency, and comprehension for adolescent readers.
NCEE 20104021 The Enhanced Reading Opportunities Final Report: The Impact of Supplemental Literacy Courses for Struggling Ninth Graders
There is substantial interest in helping the more than 70 percent of students who arrive in high school with reading skills that are below "proficient" on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). The Enhanced Reading Opportunities (ERO) demonstration evaluated two supplemental literacy programs -- Reading Apprenticeship Academic Literacy (RAAL) and Xtreme Reading (XR) -- targeted to ninth grade students whose reading skills were at least two years below grade level. Over two years, about 6,000 eligible students in 34 high schools from 10 districts were randomly assigned to enroll in the year-long ERO class or remain in a regularly scheduled elective class (non-ERO group). At the end of 9th grade, both groups were assessed using a standardized, nationally normed reading test, and participated in surveys about their reading activities and behaviors. School records were used to examine the effect of the literacy programs on academic performance during the program year (9th grade) and a year afterwards.

The study found:
  • Taken together, the ERO supplemental literacy programs improved students' reading comprehension skills during the 9th grade, corresponding to an improvement from the 23rd to the 25th percentile. However, 77 percent of students assigned to the ERO class were still reading 2 or more years behind grade level at the end of the 9th grade.
  • During the 9th grade, the ERO program also had a positive impact on students' academic performance in core subject areas, including their grades and credit accumulation. Students in the ERO group scored higher on their states' English/Language Arts and mathematics assessment than did those in the non-ERO group.
  • The ERO program effects did not continue beyond the program year. While there were statistically significant and positive impacts on studentsí GPA, credit accumulation and state test scores in 9th grade, the impacts were not significant the following school year. When analyzed separately, the RAAL program significantly improved students' reading comprehension during the 9th grade year while the XR program did not have a statistically significant impact on reading comprehension. Impacts on other outcomes were similar for the two programs.
WWC IRLDVR10 Voyager Reading Programs
This What Works Clearinghouse Intervention Report assesses existing research on three Voyager reading programs. The three programs are Voyager Passport, a supplemental reading intervention system for students in grades K-5, Voyager Passport Reading Journeys, a reading intervention program designed for adolescents who struggle with reading, and Voyager Universal Literacy System, a K-3 reading program. The Clearinghouse reviewed 44 studies of Voyager reading programs for students with learning disabilities that were published or released between 1989 and 2009 and concluded that no studies of these three Voyager reading programs that fall within the scope of the Students with Learning Disabilities review protocol meet WWC evidence standards. Therefore, conclusions may not be drawn based on research about the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of the Voyager reading programs on students with disabilities.
READ 180 is a reading program designed for students in elementary through high school whose reading achievement is below the proficient level. The goal of READ 180 is to address gaps in studentsí skills through the use of a computer program, literature, and direct instruction in reading skills. The software component of the program aims to track and adapt to each studentís progress. In addition to the computer program, the READ 180 program includes workbooks designed to address reading comprehension skills, paperback books for independent reading, and audiobooks with corresponding CDs for modeled reading.
NCES 2009013 Teacher Strategies to Help Fourth-Graders Having Difficulty in Reading: An International Perspective
The Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) assesses the reading achievement of fourth-graders and collects data on their teachersí reading instruction practices and strategies. Presenting data from the United States and the 44 other jurisdictions that participated in PIRLS 2006, this Statistics in Brief describes international patterns in the strategies reported by teachers to help fourth-graders falling behind in reading. These strategies include: (a) waiting to see if performance improves with maturation, (b) spending more time working on reading individually with that student, (c) having other students work on reading with the student having difficulty, (d) having the student work in the regular classroom with a teacher-aide, (e) having the student work in the regular classroom with a reading specialist, (f) having the student work in a remedial reading classroom with a reading specialist, (g) assigning homework to help the student catch up, (h) and asking the parents to help the student with reading. Asking the parents to help the student was among the most commonly cited strategies in 44 of the 45 jurisdictions. Working with a reading specialist in a regular classroom was among the least commonly cited strategies in 40 jurisdictions.
WWC QRLERO09 WWC Quick Review of the Report "The Enhanced Reading Opportunities Study: Findings from the Second Year of Implementation"
This study examined whether supplemental literacy classes improve the reading skills of struggling ninth-grade readers. The study authors found that the supplemental literacy classes led to a statistically significant increase in student test scores for reading comprehension. The intervention did not affect vocabulary test scores, however.
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