Encouraging findings for Success for All

A recently published report presents the first-year findings of a three-year longitudinal evaluation of Success for All (SFA), a whole-school literacy approach. As part of a US i3 scale-up grant, third-party evaluator MDRC randomly assigned 37 elementary schools in underprivileged areas across the US to SFA (n=19) or control (n=18) conditions. The study will follow children between the ages of 5 and 8.

First-year findings indicated significantly positive effects of SFA on the Woodcock Word Attack (phonics) scale, but no differences on Woodcock Letter-Word Identification. These findings are in line with prior longitudinal studies, which have found positive effects on Word Attack in the earliest school years, followed by Letter-Word Identification, and then Passage Comprehension by Year 3 and beyond.

Achievement effects were similar for all types of pupils, but not all subgroups had significant differences when they were analysed separately.

Later reports will focus on reading gains over time and on observation and treatment fidelity rating data.

Source: The Success for All Model of School Reform: Early Findings from the Investing in Innovation (i3) Scale-Up (2013), MDRC.