Presentation on theme: "Recovering from Reading Recovery: A long-term program evaluation JoAnna Cogan-Ferchalk, Ed.S., NCSP Matthew Ferchalk, Ed.S., NCSP."— Presentation transcript:
Recovering from Reading Recovery: A long-term program evaluation JoAnna Cogan-Ferchalk, Ed.S., NCSP Matthew Ferchalk, Ed.S., NCSP
Background & Philosophy Developed in New Zealand, by Dr. Marie Clay in the 1970's The goal of RR is to close the gap between at-risk readers and their average peers (Schwartz, 2005) Incorporates Vygotskys theory of the Zone of Proximal Development, where the student is able to read at a higher rate with help from the teacher than would be possible alone (Clay & Cazden, 1990) Whole language background-- phonics is not taught explicitly to children It is taught incidentally if an opportunity arises (Schwartz, 2004) Details of print and letter/sound relationships should be gained through writing, not reading instruction. This knowledge is considered limited when compared to comprehension of the text (Clay, 1993; Grossen et al., 1997)
(CREC, 2004; see also Saginaw Public Schools, 1992) How it works Students are selected for RR by teacher ratings and by screening with the Observational Survey (the lowest students are not always enrolled) Students receive daily 30 minute lessons during their first grade year Instruction includes use of magnetic letters to help write words, and teaching to read for meaning Most students graduate from RR after weeks ELCOs RR teachers have adopted a more structured phonics element
School District Demographics Approximately 2400 students 16% special education placement rate Rural, farming community in Pennsylvania Reading Recovery has been in place for 11 years
Literature on RR Several studies have found RR to be moderately effective (Marina & Gilman, 2003; Pinnell, Lyons, DeFord, Byrk, & Seltzer, 1994; Schwartz, 2005) There are complaints that these studies are flawed (Center & Wheldall, 1992; Heibert, 1994; Hoff, 2002; Rasinski, 1995) Unequal treatment time Not using the lowest readers Other studies have found that students do not attain the same reading proficiency as their peers (Huggins, 1999), which has been attributed to lack of explicit phonics instruction (Pressley, 1998) When explicit instruction in phonics is added to RR researchers have found greater improvement than with traditional RR (Chapman, Tunmer, & Prochnow, 2001; Iverson & Tunmer, 1993) Few studies have examined long term effects of RR. Those that do typically high rates of special education placement in later years (Ramaswami, 1994)
Research Questions How do students who have been through the RR program score on the PSSAs and curriculum- based assessments (CBA) in reading? If students demonstrate improvement in reading scores after RR, do these gains persist over time? Do students who have been through RR make the same rate of reading progress as their peers who did not need supplemental instruction? What is the prevalence of placement into programs such as Title I and Special Education after students have graduated or were discontinued from RR?
Method Review existing data for students who were enrolled in RR and are currently in 5 th, 6 th, and 7 th grades 8 students per elementary building per year (n= 96 students) 3 rd and 5 th grade PSSA reading scores CBA reading scores from 1 st to 5 th grade Special programs placement rate following RR Review existing data from a randomly selected comparison group (n=96)
5 th Grade PSSA data, Cohort 1 Reading Recovery Below Basic24% Basic38% Proficient19% Advanced19% Total Proficient 38% District wide data Below Basic14% Basic22% Proficient30% Advanced34% Total Proficient 64%
CBA Cohort 1 Short-term, 2 nd grade, 75% of the comparison group were at mastery or instructional levels Compared to 9% of RR students Long-term, 5 th grade 90% of the comparison group were at mastery or instructional 81% mastery Compared to 80% of RR students 20% mastery
CBA Cohort 2 Short-term, 2 nd grade 82% of the comparison group were at mastery or instructional levels Compared to 32% of RR students Long-term, 5 th grade 95% of the comparison group were at mastery or instructional levels 42% mastery Compared to 82% of RR students 29% mastery
CBA Cohort 3 Short-term, 2 nd grade 43% of the comparison group were at mastery or instructional levels None of the RR students had reached an instructional level Long-term, 4 th grade 90% of the comparison group were at mastery or instructional levels 71% mastery Compared to 67% of RR students 25% mastery
Special programs placement rates Special Education Cohort 1 19% Cohort % Cohort 3 12% District wide rate is approximately 16% Title I Cohort 1 1 year- 100% 2 years- 33.3% 3 years- 14.3% Cohort 2 1 year- 100% 2 years- 31.8% 3 years- 27.3% Cohort 3 1 year- 100% 2 years- 40% 3 years- no data
How do students who have been through the RR program in the ELCO school district score on standardized tests of achievement and curriculum-based assessments (CBA) in reading? On the PSSA exams, fewer students in RR scored in the proficient range as compared to district wide data This held true across all cohorts On CBA data, fewer students in RR scored at the instructional and mastery levels than did students not in RR This held true across all cohorts
Do students who have been through RR make the same rate of reading progress as their peers who did not need supplemental instruction? When examining the CBA data it appears that RR students started out well below their peers, and remained below them over the course of elementary school RRs goal is to close this gap in achievement Over time more RR students scored in the instructional and mastery levels on the CBA measures; however, they did not approach the level of mastery attained by their peers
If students demonstrate improvement in reading scores after RR, do these gains persist over time? In general, students did not demonstrate initial gains in reading (as demonstrated by CBA) By 5 th grade, students in RR were still behind their peers (as demonstrated by CBA & PSSA scores) A jump was noted in fourth grade CBA scores; however this cannot be attributed to RR as it occurred three years after the intervention. This may also be the result of CBA scores no longer being kept for students in special education.
What is the prevalence of placement into programs such as Title I and Special Education after students have graduated or were discontinued from RR? In cohorts 1 & 2, students were placed into special education at a higher rate than the district average (19 & 22.7% vs. 16%) In cohort 3, the rate was lower (12% vs. 16%) 100% of students in RR received Title I services in 1 st grade 40-60% of students in RR received Title I services in 2 nd and 3 rd grade
Conclusions & Implications The goal of RR (bringing at-risk students to the level of their peers in a short period of time) does not appear to have been met Given that RR is not designed for the lowest readers, it excludes students who are in need of help, and may lead to misleading reports of effectiveness The practice of dropping students if they do not make adequate progress leaves some students without much needed intervention School psychologists are in a unique position to recommend programs that have a broader research base and can provide more benefits to more students (i.e.- PHONICS!!!) We can also take an active role as a researcher and/or program evaluator to keep our districts informed of beneficial programs
Limitations Quality of data kept in the school No pre RR reading levels of students available Different data sets exists for each cohort Too many confounding variables to accurately determine the effects of RR 100% of students in RR received Title I for at least one year, and many more received years of support Attrition When students in RR were placed in special education, their CBA scores were not recorded
Recommendations for future research More long-term research is needed to examine the effects or RR Research should include initial reading levels of at-risk students
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