Students need advanced literacy skills, or the ability to use “reading and writing to acquire knowledge,” to engage successfully in a rapidly changing, global economy. Yet, only about one-third of fourth grade students score at the proficient level in reading on the National Assessment of Educational Progress.
The Regional Educational Laboratory program has conducted research to improve identification of students who are at risk in reading and evaluate literacy programs intended to improve students’ vocabulary and reading comprehension. These studies include:
• Using Evidence-Based Decision Trees Instead of Formulas to Identify At-Risk Readers: This report examines a simpler method for identifying struggling readers to determine its accuracy in comparison to a more complicated approach.
• Beating the Odds: Finding Schools Exceeding Achievement Expectations with High-Risk Students: This study identifies Florida public elementary schools that are “beating the odds” by having fewer students than predicted score at the lowest level on the state reading assessment.
• Effectiveness of a Program to Accelerate Vocabulary Development in Kindergarten (VOCAB): First Grade Follow-Up Impact Report and Exploratory Analyses of Kindergarten Impacts (Final Report): This study spotlights a kindergarten program focused on vocabulary building and investigates whether participating students retain their new vocabulary knowledge into the first grade.
• Evaluation of the Content Literacy Continuum: Report on Program Impacts, Program Fidelity, and Contrast: This study explores a high school program designed to increase students’ reading comprehension by incorporating reading strategies into core subjects.
In addition to work from the Regional Educational Laboratories, ERIC indexes a wide variety of full-text resources on the topic of literacy. One such resource is the Centre for Literacy, sponsored by the Canadian Literacy and Learning Network, which recently provided additional full-text articles to ERIC.