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Reading Recovery Lisa Kilanowski-Press M.S., CAS School Psychologist © 2005.

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Presentation on theme: "Reading Recovery Lisa Kilanowski-Press M.S., CAS School Psychologist © 2005."— Presentation transcript:

1 Reading Recovery Lisa Kilanowski-Press M.S., CAS School Psychologist © 2005

2 What is Reading Recovery?  Reading Recovery developed by Marie Clay in 1984  Program originated and implemented country- wide in New Zealand, a nation that espouses a whole language approach to reading instruction  Brought to the US by Clay in conjunction with Dr. Gay Su Pinnell and Dr. Charlotte Huck of Ohio State (the institution that oversees program implementation in the US via the National Reading Recovery Center,

3 Reading Recovery Facts  Since implementation in the US, 1,152,975 children have been served by Reading Recovery, with 842,744 students completing all lessons, and 676,690 students “successfully” completing the program i.e. performing within the average range of classmates ( s.asp) ( s.asp) s.asp

4 Reading Recovery Facts  Programs implemented in each state in the US, typically with multiple programs state wide  RR implemented during the course of the school day, in addition to typical instruction in reading  Generally requires employment of a specific reading recovery teacher on at least a half-time basis; some schools train a Title 1 teacher to perform dual roles

5 The Reading Recovery Program  Designed to assist low-achieving first grade readers (typically bottom 20% of class) following teacher nomination; must have completed one year of formal reading instruction. Some schools initiate school-wide screening using the Clay Diagnostic Survey for nomination purposes  Program consists of daily, half-hour one to one instruction with a trained teacher lasting 12 to 20 weeks, with 20 weeks of instruction preferred; over the course of the school year, approximately 8 to 10 students are served by one RR teacher (

6 What is Reading Recovery  Instruction relies on a largely whole language approach to understanding text; reading deemed a “psycholinguistic process of constructing meaning”  Guides students toward using semantic and syntactic cues to read for meaning

7 Program Components  Main program components include: perceptual analysis (shapes of words)  Knowledge of print conventions  Decoding and oral language  Prior knowledge  Reading strategies and metacognition  Error detection/correction strategies  Key aspects of strategy instruction involve using context clues, reading ahead, “guessing” unknown words by matching them to known words, predicting meaning based on pictures in text, and checking for meaning at the end of passages or books (Center et. al, 1995; Iversen & Tunmer, 1993; Grossen, Coulter, & Ruggles, downloaded on 7/15/2005 from

8 What is Reading Recovery?  Reading Recovery program is structured around sets of prescribed texts (short books) using highly predictable language, ranging in difficulty ratings from 1 (least complex) to 20 (most complex)  Students slowly progress from easier to more difficult texts over time  Reading Recovery texts do not match authentic texts used in “real” classroom situations

9 A Typical Lesson  Consist of 7 activities, typically presented in the same order  Reading of 1 or 2 familiar books with highly predictable text  Independent reading of the previous day’s book, with the teacher taking a running record  Letter identification (if necessary) with magnetic letters  Student story writing (with “emphasis” on hearing sounds in words)  Reassembling a cut-up story  Introducing a new book not previously read  Reading the new book (Center, 1995) (Center, 1995)

10 Lesson  Reading Recovery programming recommends no variation in the method of assisting students, yet…  Instructional materials suggest that teachers sessions to the unique needs of the child (contradictory?)

11 Baseline and Progress Monitoring  Baseline data for each child is generated at the start of the program including their performance on RR measures relative to their classmates  Baseline data and progress is monitored through running records and the Clay Diagnostic Survey, which rates children on their ability to apply specific Reading Recovery strategies that are best applied to Reading Recovery texts. For ex, students rated on ability to make predictions when reading the highly predictable RR texts; this does not generalize well to authentic texts which most students will encounter; process oriented strategies instead of hallmarks of competency or success

12 Clay Diagnostic Survey: Specific Components  Consists of multiple measures or approaches, including observation of reading  Letter identification task  Word recognition task  A concepts about print task  A dictation task involving known words  A running record during reading  (Iversen & Tunmer, 1993)

13 Discontinuation from RR  Students exited from RR following  A. “attainment of a reading level appropriate to that of the class to which they will return  B. reaching a reasonable degree of independence in reading  C. spending a certain amount of time in the RR program” (usually 20 weeks)  (Center et al., 1995, p. 240)

14 However…  Important to note that 5-6% of students are withdrawn from RR because they are quickly identified as not making progress  27% do not achieve the average levels of performance dictated by RR at the end of the program (hence, are not “successes”) (Center et al., 2005).  Overall, great variability between the numbers of students who start the program, who complete some lessons and are exited, who complete all lessons and are not successful, and who complete the program truly reading “at grade level”

15 Reading Recovery Training  Reading Recovery teachers receive specialized training via year-long teacher trainings at a training site, oftentimes a university; “teacher leaders” who supervise local teachers and train additional teachers also receive 1 year of training at a university training center (23 centers across the US). Both trainings include coursework and direct work with RR students  Both require annual continuing education coursework

16 What the Research Says…RR Proponents  The RR program has a built-in data collection process whereby schools are encouraged to report data regarding program implementation to the RR National Data Evaluation Center at Ohio State (friends of RR; part of the Reading Recovery Council of North America)  Most schools do report data…but, independent reviews of the data collection process have found flaws in this process (Grossen, Coulter, & Ruggles,

17 What the Research Says…RR Proponents  Of the RR students who were successfully discontinued from the program…  199581%  199683%  199783%  Fast forward to 200178%  200278%  *Competency on RR measures of success (criteria for discontinuation from the program; i.e. Clay Diagnostic Survey, time in program, level of reader)  (

18 Proponents Say  Most students who successfully complete Reading Recovery sustain their gains over time  Performance after Reading Recovery intervention seems to become stronger over time  Follow-up studies from seven states demonstrate sustained gains over time ( ng/measuring.asp) ( ng/measuring.asp)

19 Studies Cited  “Texas Woman's University, 1995  The Texas Follow-Up Study compared literacy performance of discontinued Reading Recovery children with a random sample of their peers in second, third, and fourth grades. Children from 48 schools participated, with sample sizes ranging from 88 to 103 students per group. Students were evaluated using standardized tests as well as tests of text reading, written retellings, and classroom teacher questionnaires. The test found  Scores on standardized measures increased across grade levels.  In fourth grade, approximately 70% of Reading Recovery children had scores considered average or meeting passing criteria on the Gates MacGinitie and the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills (TASS).  On tests of text reading at third and fourth grades and on retelling measures at all levels, Reading Recovery students performed as well as students in the random sample group.  Classroom teachers perceived most former Reading Recovery children as performing within average range on literacy tasks” (, ¶ 1).

20 Studies…  “Ohio State: This study looked at performance of Reading Recovery students on the Ohio Fourth Grade Proficiency Test. The subjects were children served by Reading Recovery in 1991 and 1992. A total of 2,714 children were tested on reading and 2,813 tested on writing in 1991; in 1992, 2,994 students were tested on reading and 3,002 were tested on writing. Of all eligible districts, 69% reported data. For the 1991-1992 cohort,  71% were at or above proficiency in reading  75% were above proficiency in writing  For the 1992-1993 cohort,  72% were at or above proficiency in reading  67% were at or above proficiency in writing  This study included all children served by Reading Recovery, not just those children who had successfully completed their series of lessons” ((, ¶ 2).

21 Studies…  “Marietta, Georgia, 1999  This Follow-Up Study from Cobb County Schools in Georgia tested text reading level for 294 Reading Recovery students who had successfully completed their series of Reading Recovery lessons between 1993 and 1998. Using the text reading level task on Marie Clay's Observation Survey, students were measured at the end of second, third, fourth, and fifth grade. Results demonstrate that most children continued to score at or above the average text level for their class as they progressed through the grades”  (( ained.asp, ¶ 3). ained.asp ained.asp 

22 Studies…  “Lesley College, 1997: This study compared achievement of Reading Recovery students with a randomly selected group of their peers in second and third grades. The number of subjects in groups ranged from 74 to 220. Using six measures (the Test of Oral Reading, Story Retelling, Slosson Test of Word Recognition, Dictation Task, Gates MacGinitie, and classroom teacher ratings) the research found:  Reading Recovery students scored as well as the random sample group on oral reading and retelling measures. On two measures (Slosson Test of Word Recognition and Dictation Task), Reading Recovery student performance was below that of the random sample group in second grade, but by third grade, Reading Recovery students were within an average band.  Classroom teachers perceived most Reading Recovery children to be average on literacy behaviors” (, ¶ 4).

23 However…  No independent evaluations of RR have found gains to be more than expected in a traditional 1:1 tutoring situation (Iversen & Tunmer, 1993).  No independent evaluations have found “gains” achieved through RR to last as long as or longer than available evidence-based interventions  No independent evaluations have found RR students to benefit more from RR than other approaches  RR studies have not demonstrated that at-risk RR students achieve proficiency on standardized state measures of reading ability; those that purport to have not been independently evaluated or replicated  Also, cannot increase school wide achievement as a result of RR participation  Last 4 points (Grossen, Coulter, & Ruggles,

24 However…  None of the “frontline” studies cited on the RR Council used to support their program have appeared in scholarly journals, or at conferences not directly linked to RR  Those discussed in scholarly journals found to be flawed; reviews of many RR recovery studies and evaluations deemed seriously flawed by many in the research/program evaluation community (Iversen & Tunmer, 1993; Gossen, Coulter, & Ruggles)

25 What Independent Evaluation has found…Flawed Data Reporting  RR data reporting system is flawed: data re: approximately ½ of children eligible and served is omitted from analyses  Generally only report data from those students who complete the program (60% of initial 100%); biased as those who are viewed as unlikely to succeed are exited early, and data for those who complete the program but do not meet success criteria are excluded  Selection bias: students initially viewed as unlikely to benefit from RR are not often not offered the opportunity to participate; disparity between number of eligible students versus students served (

26 Flawed Data and Method  Many students exited and directed to Special Ed; RR reports only 5%, but review of RR materials suggests that this is 5% of those who complete the program, not of all students referred to RR (Coulter, Grossen, & Ruggles)  In lit review, only 1 to 2 studies included control groups; these groups were not matched appropriately, and included students who did not meet initial criteria for inclusion in RR (some RR students found to be slightly higher performing than “’controls” upon program initiation) (Iversen & Tunmer, 1993).  Students who are deemed “likely to benefit’ from RR are selected into the program…influencing outcomes (; Grossen, Coulter & Ruggles).;

27 Outcome Measure Criticism  The sole outcome measure for progress after completing Reading Recovery curriculum is their reading level gleaned from recommended RR texts, and performance on Clay Diagnostic Survey (, Grossen, Coulter, & Ruggles).  No measures of comprehension, phonemic or phonological awareness, decoding (, Iversen & Tunmer, 1993).  No measure of ability to identify foreign words in isolation (out of context); children are asked to identify lists of frequently occurring words via Clay Diagnostic Survey (Iversen & Tunmer, 1993).  Recovery Reading levels do not match teacher reported reading levels; Recovery levels often half of classroom reported levels  Program and outcome measure not matched to state or local standards ;does not adhere to the Big 5

28 Criticisms… Discontinuation  The standard for program “success” and discontinuation not based on any solid benchmarking system, but on time spent in the program, RR reading level (that doesn’t always relate to the classroom), and ability to implement specific RR strategies; in Columbus, OH, only 14.7% of RR students met national levels of proficiency (Grossen, Coulter, & Ruggles)  Those who complete the program often still need other reading services, including Title 1 and Special Education; in Wake County, NC, RR students “just as likely to be retained, served in special education, or receive Title I services as control group students 1 year following RR services (Grossen, Coulter, & Ruggles)  Clay Diagnostic Survey as sole outcome measure…doesn’t match up with standards or authentic reading tasks and expectations

29 No Explicit Phonemic Awareness or Phonics Instruction  Clay stands in opposition to explicit phonological awareness instruction  Believes that “children can acquire knowledge of the alphabetic code largely through their experience of attempting to spell words (achieved through the story writing component) (Iversen & Tunmer, 1993)  Believes comprehension of the spoken word is sufficient to understand letter-sound relationships; developing understanding of conventions of English taught through reading and writing will lead to reading without phonics instruction; students taught to “behave like readers” ( p, ¶ 7). p

30 No Phonemic or Phonological Awareness  RR Council of North America “explicitly recognizes” the importance of phonological awareness and orthographic knowledge”, but contends that it is first important to understand how letters and words work (through concepts about print) ( p, ¶ 4). p  Regardless of what is purported in the schools or literature, there is no explicit phonics instruction present in the Reading Recovery program (see RR handout)

31 Criticisms… Just Not as Effective as Other Evidence- Based Approaches  RR found to be the lowest rated packaged program in terms of efficacy, with standard Title 1 programming (used as control group) leading to greater outcomes; found to be the most effective in this study was Success for All (Rasinski, 1995, Iversen & Tunmer, 1993, Wasik & Slavin, 1993)  RR combined with explicit phonics instruction led to significantly stronger reading ability compared to RR alone; has found to be a strong approach in many studies; up to 37% more effective...(Iversen & Tunmore, 1993) ; however, Clay against explicit phonics instruction  RR in small groups found to be as effective as RR alone (Iversen & Tunmer, 1993).

32 Criticisms…  RR doesn’t increase school wide achievement levels… (both critics and advocates agree on this). Could it be because it doesn’t increase achievement in terms of overall proficiency, national and state standards? Hmm…

33 Criticisms  Doesn’t Help the Lowest Performing Students… since they are often excluded from the program before it starts, during the program, and because they require intensive phonological awareness training (Iversen & Tunmer, 1993; Grossen, Coulter & Ruggles).  Doesn’t re-evaluate its’ approach following independent or self-evaluation, despite a preponderance of data pointing to a need for improvement/adjustment (Grossen, Coulter & Ruggles; sful.htm ). sful.htm sful.htm  Not maximally effective compared to other interventions…and not cost effective…costs of implementation per student found to range between 8 and $11,000 plus materials; only 8 to 10 students served per year by 1 teacher

34 References  Aldridge, J. (2004). Recent research on reading recovery.  Barnes, B.L. (1996). But teacher you went right on: A perspective on Reading  Recovery. The Reading Teacher, 50(4), 284-293.  Bracey, G.W. (1995). Reading Recovery: Is it effective? Is it cost effective?  Phi Delta Kappan, 76(6), 493-495.  Book leveling. Retrieved 8/1/2005 from   Center, Y., Wheldall, K., Freeman, L., Outhred, L., & McNaught, M. (1995).  An evaluation of Reading Recovery. Reading Research Quarterly, 30(2),  240-263.  Clay, M. (1993). Reading Recovery: A guidebook for teachers in training. Portsmouth,  NH: Heinemann.  Evidence-based research on Reading Recovery. Retrieved 8/8/2005 from Recoveryisnotsuccessful.htm Recoveryisnotsuccessful.htm  Iversen, S. & Tunmer, W.E. (1993). Phonological processing skills and the Reading  Recovery program. Journal of Educational Psychology, 85(1), 112-126.  Grossen, B., Coulter, G., & Ruggles, B. (publication date unknown). Reading Recovery:  An evaluation of benefits and costs. Retrieved 8/1/2005 from  Phonological awareness and Reading Recovery. Retrieved 8/1/2005 from 

35 References  Pinnell, G.S., Fried, M.D., & Estice, R.M. (1990). Reading recovery: Learning how to  make a difference. The Reading Teacher, 43(4), 282-296.  Pinnell, G.S. (1989). Reading Recovery: Helping at-risk children learn to read. The  Elementary School Journal, 90(2), 160-124.  Rasinski, T.V. (1995). Commentary: On the effects of Reading Recovery: A response to  Pinnell, Lyons, DeFord, Bryk, and Seltzer. Reading Research Quarterly, 30(2),  264-270.  Reading Recovery Council of North America: Results 2001-2002. Retrieved  7/15/2005 from  Sustained gains over time. Retrieved 8/01/2005  from  Reading Recovery facts and figures. Retrieved 8/1/2005 from   Reading Recovery lessons.

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