Large Scale Study Supports Effectiveness of Reading Recovery

June 26, 2018

The Impact of Reading Recovery at Scale: Results From the 4-Year i3 External Evaluation

A recent large-scale evaluation of Reading Recovery, a supplemental reading program for young struggling readers, supports previous research that found it to be effective.  In a 4 year, federally funded project, almost 3,500 students in 685 schools found that generally students benefitted from the intervention. Students receiving Reading Recovery receive supplemental services in a 1:1 instructional setting for 30 minutes 5 days a week from an instructor trained in Reading Recovery.  In the study reported here, students who received Reading Recovery had effect sizes of .35-.37 relative to a control group across a number of measures of reading.  These represent moderate effect sizes and account for about a 1.5 month increase in skill relative to the control group.  Even though the research supports the efficacy of the intervention, it also raises questions about its efficiency.  The schools that participated in the study served about 5 students and the estimated cost per student has ranged from $2,000-$5,000.  These data raise questions about the wisdom of spending this much money per student for growth of about a month and a half.

Citation: Sirinides, P., Gray, A., & May, H. (2018). The Impacts of Reading Recovery at Scale: Results From the 4-Year i3 External Evaluation. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 0162373718764828.