The What Works Clearinghouse has issued a few new reports in its Beginning Reading series, including one for Houghton Mifflin’s Invitations to Literacy and another on Reading Recovery.
The reviews are short. I’ll let you decide if they’re useful.
For the four studies on Reading Recovery, the review found “medium to large for alphabetics, small for fluency and comprehension, and medium to large for general reading achievement.” An earlier review of the intensive one-on-one tutoring program was mostly positive.
The Houghton Mifflin program did not have any studies that met the review criteria.
The clearinghouse has drawn criticism for those kinds of findings, leading critics to nickname it the “Nothing Works Clearinghouse.” My colleague Debra Viadero has this piece about the clearinghouse, in which she reports that officials are working to make the reviews more useful to policymakers and practitioners.
Russ Whitehurst, who helped spearhead the clearinghouse project as IES director, and who stepped down last month to head the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution, spoke recently to reiterate his support for the center. According to the article he also described the challenges of conducting the reviews in an efficient and objective manner.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.