READING FIRST PROGRAM SHOWING DRAMATIC IMPROVEMENTS
April 20, 2007
New state-by-state data on the effectiveness of Reading First -- President Bush's national reading program -- indicates that students who receive instruction through the program achieve strong gains in reading proficiency, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
The state-reported data presented today reveal that students in Reading First schools largely demonstrated impressive gains in reading fluency and comprehension. Achievement data highlights include:
- In Reading First schools, the percentage of first graders meeting or exceeding proficiency on Reading First fluency outcome measures increased by 14 percentage points from 2004 to 2006.
- In Reading First schools, the percentage of third graders meeting or exceeding proficiency on Reading First fluency outcome measures increased by 7 percentage points from 2004 to 2006.
- On average, the 26 states with baseline data increased the percentage of students meeting or exceeding proficiency on fluency outcome measures by 16 percent for first graders, 14 percent for second graders, and 15 percent for third graders.
- The 26 states also increased the percentage of students meeting or exceeding proficiency on comprehension outcome measures by 15 percent for first graders, 6 percent for second graders, and 12 percent for third graders.
The data reinforces the positive indicators from the Reading First Implementation Evaluation interim report released in July 2006. According to that report, Reading First students receive on average 100 extra minutes per week of proven, research-based instruction from teachers, tutors and reading coaches.
Moreover, the interim report found that Reading First staff received significantly more professional development than did Title I staff, and teachers in Reading First schools spent more time on reading instruction than teachers in non-Reading First Title I schools.
Source: "Reading First Achievement Data Demonstrate Dramatic Improvements in Reading Proficiency of America's Neediest Children," U.S. Department of Education, April 19, 2007.
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