School & District Management

Reports Offer Good News on Adolescent Reading Front

By Debra Viadero — July 13, 2010 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

In reading education, researchers have come to know lots about teaching young children how to decipher words. The struggling adolescent reader, on the other hand, is still unconquered territory.

Here are a couple of new reports, however, that offer a sliver of hope. The first is a randomized experiment on a program called Read Right. Currently used in about 500 schools across the country, the model calls for students to be taught in separate classes during the school day with no more than five students per tutor. (This is in addition to their regular English language arts classes.) Another hallmark of the program is that it emphasizes teaching comprehension, accuracy, pacing, and intonation, rather than phonics or vocabulary.

For their study, which was funded by the Omaha-based Sherwood Foundation, researchers from Education Northwest tested the program last fall with 424 students in Omaha secondary schools. They concluded that the program resulted in significant positive effects on students’ reading comprehension and spurred more students to read for fun outside of school. This was the first experimental study, by the way, to be conducted on the program, which was developed by Dee Tadlock.

The second report is an analysis posted this month by the What Works Clearinghouse. The clearinghouse, as you undoubtedly know by now, is a federally supported outfit that vets the research on widely used education policies, programs, and strategies. In this case, the reviewers took a look at a program called Reading Apprenticeship, an instructional approach developed at WestEd that involves students in analyzing their own reading strategies, as well as those used by their teachers and other classmates as they grapple with content-area texts across the school curriculum.

The clearinghouse found one study on the program that met its famously tough evidence standards. Conducted by WestEd itself, the study involved 2,000 9th graders in 17 high schools in 10 districts across the country. The bottom line, according to the WWC review: The program has “potentially positive effects” on improving students’ reading comprehension.

Look for the trickle of research in this area to turn into a torrent over the next few years, thanks to a $100 million research program on reading comprehension unveiled last month by the Institute of Education Sciences.

UPDATE: The Reading Apprenticeship study was actually conducted by MDRC and the American Institutes for Research and not WestEd, as indicated above. That’s an important distinction. That makes the good results even better, to my mind.

Related Tags:

A version of this news article first appeared in the Inside School Research blog.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
Teaching Profession Live Online Discussion What Have We Learned From Teachers During the Pandemic?
University of California, Santa Cruz, researcher Lora Bartlett and her colleagues spent months studying how the pandemic affected classroom teachers. We will discuss the takeaways from her research not only for teachers, but also for
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Trauma-Informed Practices & the Construction of the Deep Reading Brain
Join Ryan Lee-James, Ph.D. CCC-SLP, director of the Rollins Center for Language and Literacy, with Renée Boynton-Jarrett, MD, ScD., Vital Village Community Engagement Network; Neena McConnico, Ph.D, LMHC, Child Witness to Violence Project; and Sondra
Content provided by Rollins Center

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management SEL for Principals: How a Professional Development Program Serves Their High-Stress Needs
A statewide program in Massachusetts guides principals on how to apply social-emotional learning and self-care skills to their own jobs.
10 min read
Image of a professional male in meditation pose.
iStock/Getty
School & District Management Some Teachers Won't Get Vaccinated, Even With a Mandate. What Should Schools Do About It?
Vaccine requirements for teachers are gaining traction, but the logistics of upholding them are complicated.
9 min read
Illustration of a vaccine, medical equipment, a clock and a calendar with a date marked in red.
iStock/Getty
School & District Management A Vaccine for Kids Is Coming. 6 Tips for Administering the Shot in Your School
Start planning now, get help, and build enthusiasm. It's harder than it looks.
11 min read
Cole Rodriguez, a 15-year-old student at Topeka West, gets a COVID-19 vaccine Monday, Aug. 9, 2021 at Topeka High School's vaccine clinic.
Cole Rodriguez, a 15-year-old student, gets a COVID-19 vaccine at Topeka High School's vaccine clinic.
Evert Nelson/The Topeka Capital-Journal via AP
School & District Management Letter to the Editor School Mask Mandates: Pandemic, ‘Panicdemic,’ or Personal?
"A pandemic is based on facts. A 'panicdemic' is based on fears. Today, we have both," writes a professor.
1 min read