National Student Support Accelerator posted RCT results for Chapter One - a program that provides two years of tutoring to struggling readers in grades K-1. Quick take: High-quality RCT finds small impacts (not statistically significant) on reading at the 2y mark - i.e., end of 1st grade.

Program:

  • Chapter One provides 2y of tutoring to struggling readers in grades K-1, delivered by part-time tutors in the classroom who provide short bursts of instruction to individual students each week over the course of the year. This is a low-cost program - about $375-$450/student.

Study Design:

  • The study randomly assigned 818 kindergartners in 13 Broward County FL schools to tutoring vs control (usual services).  93% were Black or Hispanic, & 56% low income. Based on careful review, this was a high-quality RCT (e.g., baseline balance, low attrition on district reading tests).

Findings:

  • At end of 1st grade, the study found no statistically significant effect on the district test of reading with comprehension. (The non-significant effect was 0.10 standard deviations - equating to ~7% improvement over the annual reading gain otherwise expected in 1st grade.)

  • The study found a possible effect on *pre-reading* skills (e.g., phonics, phonemic awareness): effect of 0.11 (not statistically significant) & reduction in percent at-risk from 54% C to 45% T (statistically significant). Such skills may or may not lead to future gains in actual reading.

  • The study report highlights larger pre-reading effects found in program-administered (as opposed to district-administered) tests, but these are less reliable measures - vulnerable to bias.

Comment:

  • The study is ongoing, and it’s possible that impacts on reading will appear in future grades - so stay tuned.

We use cookies to improve your experience and to help us understand how you use our site. Please refer to our cookie notice and privacy statement for more information regarding cookies and other third-party tracking that may be enabled.

Intuit Mailchimp logo