US Department of Education (SFA)
Comprehensive school reform quality initiatives: Capacity building-category 2/Using technology to coordinate core and supplementary reading instruction in Success for All Schools
Abrami, P.C. (Concordia University), Cheune, A., Slavin, R.E., Chambers, B. , Hipps, G.
Success for All is a comprehensive reform program for elementary schools. Intended to ensure students’ success in reading by preventing them from falling behind in early grades, Success for All provides schools with extensive professional development in reading instructional methods with strong evidence of effectiveness, as well as student reading materials designed to facilitate daily use of research-based instruction. The program also includes cross-grade grouping strategies, parent involvement programs, and one-to-one tutoring for struggling students. It has a strong research base showing its effectiveness with students in special education, English language learners, and other at-risk students. Recent technology development in Success for All have made possible significant improvements in the program’s impact for these subgroups.
The Success for All elementary reading program is being implemented in more than 1300 schools in 46 states. Current Success for All schools have used the program for a median of 5 years (Slavin & Madden, 2004). These schools are mostly high-poverty Title I schools serving many African American, Hispanic, and White students in urban as well as rural districts.
This Category 2 application proposes to develop and rigorously evaluate a technology-based design for small-group supplementary instruction in Success for All schools, for use in special education resource rooms, English as a second language (ESL) programs, and supplementary reading programs. The goal is to create a replicable, effective model capable of improving the reading achievement of all students who are in special education, are English language learners, or are at risk (operationally defined a reading below the 25th percentile). The new design will build on Alphie’s Alley computer-based learning environment and the Reading Reels embedded multimedia materials. It will involve children in cooperative learning activities with and without computers, and will provide content, assessments, and assistive technology tailored to each child’s needs. Information on diagnostic assessments, student progress, and effective strategies will be shared among core and supplementary teachers.
A large-scale randomized experiment will evaluate outcomes of the small-group supplementary model. Forty rural and urban schools using Success for All will be randomly assigned to use the new supplementary model or continue current practices. Effects on achievement, assignments to special education, and other outcomes will be compared using hierarchical linear modeling (HLM). The small-group supplementary model will be disseminated among the 1300 current Success for All schools nationally and many more schools due to be added in coming years, and will be usable in non-SFA schools.