More evidence for Reading Recovery

A Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) five-year evaluation of the Reading Recovery programme reports “significant positive impacts” in its second year.

Reading Recovery aims to help raise literacy standards among the lowest-achieving first graders (equivalent to Year 1). Students who receive Reading Recovery meet individually for 30 minutes with a trained Reading Recovery teacher every school day for 12 to 20 weeks.

The evaluation covered a period when the programme in the US increased in size with 2,079 new teachers recruited and trained, an additional 23,720 students experienced one-to-one lessons with a trained teacher in the programme, and an additional 113,976 students received classroom or small-group instruction.

Key findings from the study included:

  • Students in the Reading Recovery programme outperformed those in the control group in all subscales of the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS) by 14 to 16 percentile points.
  • Large effect sizes of 0.42 standard deviations compared with other children eligible for Reading Recovery and 0.33 standard deviations compared with the national population of first graders.
  • Students in Reading Recovery exceeded expected improvement by an equivalent of an additional 1.4 months compared with the ITBS test’s national norming sample – a large effect in the context of studies on teaching interventions.

Source: Evaluation of the i3 scale-up of Reading Recovery: year two report, 2012-13 (2015), Consortium for Policy Research in Education

Promising results for Reading Recovery

A recent report published by the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) evaluates the scale-up of the Reading Recovery programme in US schools. Reading Recovery is a short-term intervention designed to help the lowest-achieving readers in Year 2 reach average levels of literacy.

In 2010 the US Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation (i3) fund awarded a grant to expand the use of Reading Recovery by training 3,675 new Reading Recovery teachers with the capacity to reach an additional 88,200 children. The evaluation is taking place over five years, and this report, the first of three, presents results from the 2010-11 and 2011-12 school years.

The authors found that children randomly assigned to Reading Recovery outperformed those in the control group on each subscale of a standardised assessment of reading achievement (Iowa Tests of Basic Skills – ITBS). The mean of Reading Recovery children’s post-test ITBS Total Reading scores was at the 36th percentile nationally, while those in the control group had post-test scores at the 18th percentile – a difference of +18 percentile points. The authors note that Reading Recovery training and implementation were done with high fidelity in schools participating in the scale-up.

Source: Evaluation of the i3 Scale-up of Reading Recovery | Year One Report, 2011-12 (2013), Consortium for Policy Research in Education.