Evaluating Reading Recovery’s Effectiveness
Each individual site will determine those strategies that are most important to identifying the effectiveness of Reading Recovery. Following are several ways in which sites currently evaluate the impact of the intervention on their schools and students.
Using Data to Assess Effectiveness with 1st Grade Students
- Comparison of local data to national data (from the International Data Evaluation Center) yields initial indications of effectiveness with first-grade children. Site and school data should also be examined annually, comparing results to previous years, to determine year-to-year gains and to set goals for further improvement. The teacher leader has expertise in analyzing and communicating the annual results.
Assessing effective of the intervention on the educational system
- Assess the percent of coverage — the degree to which this intervention is available to all the children in each first-grade cohort that need this intervention. Entry-level data from Observation Survey testing will help determine the extent of need for this intervention.
- Examine how Reading Recovery has changed the paths of progress for these children within the system. Look for evidence of reduction in the numbers of children retained as well as reductions in the numbers referred for testing and classified as qualifying for exceptional services.
- Examine longitudinal data on Reading Recovery children beyond the first-grade year using tests given to all children in Grades 3 and 4. Examine this in three groups: (1) Reading Recovery children whose lessons were discontinued, (2) children who had a complete intervention, and (3) all Reading Recovery children. It is best to collect data from a number of sources (standardized tests, informal reading inventories, teacher perception, and letter grades), since no one assessment provides a full depiction of the child’s competencies.
- Compare the progress of various majority and minority groups to determine the degree that Reading Recovery closes the achievement gap.
- Watch for signs of improvement over time in the entering scores of first-grade children (evidence that kindergarten programs build early literacy skills).
- Look for change over time in average reading levels of grade-level cohorts.
- Collect data on classroom teachers’ perceptions of the performance of Reading Recovery children.
Assessing the quality of Reading Recovery Implementation
Reading Recovery implementation is of high quality if:
- the program is implemented according to Standards and Guidelines for Reading Recovery in the United States, published by the Reading Recovery Council of North America
- resources are committed to achieve full implementation (Reading Recovery teaching time is available to all children who need it)
- administrators lead, encourage, and develop strong classroom teaching and close collaboration and communication among Reading Recovery and classroom teachers
- coordination and collaboration is established among all basic and support educational services
Assessing Perceptions of Reading Recovery As Essential to the System.
Barriers to the acceptance of Reading Recovery are almost inevitable and include:
- established expectations about what is possible for low-achieving children
- expectations for children with variant social and behavioral characteristics
- traditional curriculum expectations
- conflicting ideas about how children learn to read and write
Beliefs and values can change as people perceive a need to change and as they confront strong, contradictory evidence. To facilitate this change administrators and the teacher leader will:
- share entrance data and progress data with classroom teachers
- establish mutual interest (with classroom teachers) in children’s performance
- arrange to have classroom teachers observe Reading Recovery lessons
- invite teachers to bring children to the training class and to come as observers
- arrange for children to read books to their teachers and to their class
- work with the teacher leader and principals to establish school teams
- share data and arrange for direct contact to help upper-grade teachers to see how an early intervention can make a significant contribution to their work
Positive social and intellectual interactions also contribute to belief and value changes. These can be fostered in the following ways:
- Reading Recovery teachers must take responsibility for establishing relationships.
- Principals can arrange positive contexts and opportunities for sharing expertise.
- Reading Recovery teachers can exchange helpful suggestions with classroom teachers.
- Reading Recovery teachers can ask specialist educators for information or advice.
- Reading Recovery teachers can enlist parent participation and visitation from families that have not previously engaged with school staff.
THE JOURNAL OF READING RECOVERY
Why Phonics (in English) is Difficult to Teach, Lean, and Apply: What Caregivers and Teachers Need to Know
David Reinking and Sharon L. Reinking
Reflecting On Our Practices When the Child Has a Limited Repertoire
Janiece Elzy and Tracee Farmer
Why a Teacher’s Beliefs Matter: Using a Theory of Learning to Explore Instructional Decisions
Debra Crouch and Brian Cambourne
Concepts About Print and Early Reading Behaviors: Considerations When Using eBooks
C.C. Bates, Adria Klein, and Barbara Schubert
Why Reading Recovery Is The Way It Is
Marie M. Clay