Reading Recovery Boosts 1st Graders Reading, i3 Study Finds

By Sarah D. Sparks on March 22, 2016 11:38 AM
By Liana Heitin. Originally posted at Curriculum Matters.

A new study of Reading Recovery, a 1-on-1 reading intervention program for 1st graders, found that the program had a significant positive impact on students' reading achievement.

The evaluation, conducted as part of a federal Investing in Innovation scale-up grant, analyzed reading performance for nearly 7,000 1st grade students at more than 1,000 schools over four years. Students were randomly assigned to either the treatment group, in which they received 30 minutes a day of 1-on-1 lessons taught by a trained Reading Recovery teacher, or a control group, in which they received their school's regular interventions. Students participated in either condition for 12 to 20 weeks. 

The researchers, from the Consortium for Policy Research in Education at the University of Pennsylvania and the Center for Research on Education and Social Policy at the University of Delaware, looked at student performance on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills' tests of reading comprehension and decoding, as well as an early-literacy screener used for Reading Recovery. 

They found that students in the treatment group significantly outperformed those in the control group. For total reading on the Iowa Test, the treatment group scored at the 36th percentile after the five-month period, while the treatment group scored at the 18th percentile. (All student participants were struggling readers to begin with.)

The growth rate for Reading Recovery participants was 131 percent of the national average growth rate for 1st graders. 

Final independent research report finds i3 scale-up of Reading Recovery 'highly successful'

Other Research Reports

Reading Recovery research studies reviewed by USDE funded agencies:

Florida Center for Reading Research: Reading Recovery. (June 19, 2008). Florida Center for Reading Research, Florida State University.

How Much Evidence Is Enough Evidence? Richard Allington. (2005). The Journal of Reading Recovery, 4(2), 8-11.