Legislative Action Team Advisory

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Reading First - US Department of Education Report

July 24, 2006 US Dept. of Ed. Press Release- New Report Shows Progress in Reading First Implementation and Changes in Reading Instruction:
Children in Reading First classrooms receive significantly more reading instruction and schools participating in the program are much more likely to have a reading coach, according to the Reading First Implementation Evaluation: Interim Report, released today by the U.S. Department of Education. The report shows significant differences between what Reading First teachers report about their instructional practices and the responses of teachers in non-Reading First Title I schools, which are demographically similar to the Reading First schools.
"The goal of Reading First is to help teachers translate scientific insights into practical tools they can use in their classrooms," Secretary Spellings said. "The program is helping millions of children and providing teachers with high-quality, research-based support. As we push towards our ultimate goal of every child reading and doing math on grade level by 2014, Reading First is a valuable help to our efforts."
The report shows Reading First schools appear to be implementing the major elements of the program as intended by the No Child Left Behind legislation. Reading First respondents reported that they made substantial changes to their reading materials and that the instruction is more likely to be aligned with scientifically based reading research; they are more likely to have scheduled reading blocks and spend more time teaching reading; they are more likely to apply assessment results for instructional purposes, and they receive professional development focused on helping struggling readers more often than non-Reading First Title I schools in the evaluation.
The report is based on data collected from surveys completed in spring 2005 by 6,200 K-3 teachers, 1,570 principals and 1,320 reading coaches in nationally representative samples of 1,090 Reading First schools and 540 non-Reading First Title I schools and from interviews with Reading First state coordinators and reviews of states' applications for Reading First awards. As of July 2006, states have awarded sub-grants to approximately 1,600 local school districts, and these districts have provided funds to 5,300 schools nationwide. A final report in 2008 will include data on changes in student reading achievement in Reading First schools.
Highlights of the report include:
· Teachers in Reading First schools reported, on average, they spent significantly more time on reading than did teachers in non-Reading First Title I schools—a difference of about 19 minutes per day, or about 100 minutes per week.
· Reading First teachers were significantly more likely than their counterparts in non-Reading First Title I schools to place their struggling students in intervention programs.
· Reading First schools were significantly more likely to have a reading coach to support teachers in the implementation of their reading programs than were non-Reading First Title I schools.
· Teachers in Reading First schools were more likely to report applying assessment results for varied instructional purposes (e.g., for planning, grouping, progress monitoring and identifying struggling readers) than their non-Reading First Title I counterparts.
The full text of Reading First Implementation Evaluation is available online at http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/opepd/ppss/reports.html#reading.


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