Herman & Stringfield 1997

Herman & Stringfield 1997

Ten Promising Programs for Educating All Children: Evidence of Impact

Herman, R., & Stringfield, S. (1997). Ten promising programs for educating all children: Evidence of impact. Arlington, VA: Educational Research Service.

The purpose of the Herman and Stringfield review was to report information collected in a three-year study conducted by the Johns Hopkins University Center for the Social Organization of Schools designed to answer two questions:

  1. Are there specific programs or restructuring designs that can enhance the learning of students who are at risk of school failure?
  2. What are their key characteristics and what local conditions and action required to replicate those promising programs?

Authors examined 10 different nationally known programs that were identified as holding promise for educating disadvantaged children. They reviewed 13 studies of Reading Recovery effectiveness and collected observational evidence at exemplar sites.

Conclusions and Recommendations

  1. Expectations for Reading Recovery are high, in part because the program focuses on a small number of children. The program has a reputation for producing strong, quantifiable reading gains.
  2. A potential problem noted in some sites was tendency to blame or label the child when the strategy was not effective for the student.
  3. Districts should be prepared to address some unintended consequences of the program including staff jealousies over resources, lack of coordination, and unrealistically high expectations for the program.
  4. The consistently high fidelity of program implementation across sites was an important aspect of Reading Recovery.
  5. The high quality staff development model for Reading Recovery is one of the most important aspects of Reading Recovery.

Authors commended the staff development model:

The intensity and methods utilized by Reading Recovery in training and the insistence on high level of Reading Recovery performance provided an almost singularly attractive model for future staff development efforts, regardless of program type. As schools systematize and create more opportunities for serious staff development, the thoroughness of the Reading Recovery model seems to be well worth emulating. (p. 86)

This abstract appears in B.J. Askew, I.C. Fountas, C.A. Lyons, G.S. Pinnell, & M.C. Schmitt (1998). Reading Recovery Review: Understandings Outcomes & Implications, pp. 22-23. Columbus, OH: Reading Recovery Council of North America.