California’s participation in the federal Reading First program under the No Child Left Behind Act has been a success, says an evaluation of student achievement by Educational Data Systems Inc.
The study by the Morgan Hill, Calif.-based research organization found that Reading First schools showed significantly higher gains in student achievement than a control group. Though Reading First is a K-3 program, the higher gains were evident even for students in the 5th grade.
Schools deemed to have implemented the program the most comprehensively have significantly higher gains than those that didn’t implement it so thoroughly. The study found that the higher achievement for Reading First schools versus schools that didn’t participate in the program was also true for English-language learners.
The report’s principal investigators were Diane Haager and Craig Heimbichner.
A version of this article appeared in the March 04, 2009 edition of Education Week