The long-awaited interim report from the Reading First Impact Study, released last week by the Institute of Education Sciences, says that students in schools receiving grants from the federal program have not fared any better than their counterparts in comparison schools in gaining meaning from print.
That central finding in the first national study of Reading First’s effect on student reading achievement, however, does not necessarily signal that the program, or the evidence-based instructional model it is based on, isn’t working, federal officials said.
“There are at least four possibilities for the results. One is that scientifically based reading instruction … doesn’t work,” said Grover J. “Russ” Whitehurst, the director of the institute, the research arm of the U.S. Department of Education. “Another possibility is that the instruction works, but it was not sufficient enough to have an impact on reading comprehension” even if it improved decoding skills, reading fluency, and vocabulary, he said.
Picture uploaded by Luis Fabres