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Reading / Middle and High School

In recent years, major initiatives in the U. S. and U. K. have added greatly to the amount and quality of research on the effectiveness of secondary reading programs, especially targeted programs for struggling readers. This review of the experimental research on secondary reading programs focuses on 65 studies that used random assignment (n=56) or high-quality quasi experiments (n=9) to evaluate outcomes of 49 programs on widely accepted measures of reading. Programs using one-to-one and small-group tutoring (ES=+0.23) and cooperative learning programs (ES=+0.16) showed positive outcomes, on average. Among technology programs, metacognitive approaches, mixed-model programs, and programs for English learners there were individual examples of promising approaches. Except for tutoring, targeted extra-time programs were no more effective than programs provided to entire classes and schools without adding instructional time. Outcomes for middle school students were non-significantly higher than those for high school students. The findings suggest that secondary readers benefit more from engaging and personalized instruction than from remedial services.


Full Report
Baye, A., Lake, C., Inns, A. & Slavin, R. E. (2017, August). Effective Reading Programs for Secondary Students. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University, Center for Research and Reform in Education.

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Full Report Secondary Reading Full Report (PDF, 750 KB)


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