What Works Clearinghouse documents Reading Recovery’s scientific research base
The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC), an initiative of USDE's Institute of Education Sciences, is a central, trusted source of information for decision makers. Established in 2002, the WWC reviews and assesses research evidence for educational programs, products, practices, and policies.
Research on beginning reading
The WWC publishes intervention reports that assess research on beginning reading curricula and instructional strategies for students from kindergarten through third grade. WWC has reviewed studies for more than 175 programs in the beginning reading category, and only 27 meet their rigorous standards. The WWC translates effect sizes from research into an improvement index that reflects the change in a student's percentile rank that can be expected if the student has the intervention. Administrators use these index ratings to make informed decisions while selecting the right program for their schools and districts.
Reading Recovery's evidence
Among all programs reviewed, Reading Recovery received the highest rating in general reading achievement, and positive or potentially positive ratings across all four domains -- alphabetics (phonics and phonemic awareness), fluency, comprehension, and general reading achievement. The report includes an improvement index to reflect the strength of the Reading Recovery intervention. Scores on this index can range from -50 to +50.
These updated (April 2016) ratings include the addition of a single study review of the Year One i3 scale-up report that has not yet been incorporated into the Reading Recovery beginning reading intervention report and were calculated following procedures in the WWC Handbook.
The inclusion of this study increases the extent of evidence in the outcome domains for comprehension and general reading achievement to the category of ‘medium to large,’ and increases the effectiveness rating for comprehension from ‘potentially positive’ to ‘positive.’