Success for All (SFA) is a comprehensive whole-school approach designed to help high-poverty elementary schools increase the reading success of their students. It is designed to ensure success in grades K-2 and then build on this success in later grades. SFA combines instruction emphasizing phonics and cooperative learning, one-to-small group tutoring for students who need it in the primary grades, frequent assessment and regrouping, parent involvement, distributed leadership, and extensive training and coaching. Over a 33-year period, SFA has been extensively evaluated, mostly by researchers unconnected to the program. This quantitative synthesis reviews the findings of these evaluations. Seventeen U.S. studies meeting rigorous inclusion standards had a mean effect size of +0.24 (p < .05) on independent measures. Effects were largest for low achievers (ES = +0.54, p < .01). Although outcomes vary across studies, mean impacts support the effectiveness of Success for All for the reading success of disadvantaged students.
Which comprehensive school reform programs have been proven to help elementary and secondary students achieve? To find out, this review summarizes evidence on comprehensive school reform (CSR) models in elementary and secondary schools. Comprehensive school reform models are programs used schoolwide to improve student achievement. They typically include the following elements:
Innovative approaches to instruction and curriculum used in many subjects throughout the school
Extensive, ongoing professional development, and coaches or facilitators in the building to help manage the reform process
Measurable goals and benchmarks for student achievement
Emphasis on parent and community involvement
CSR models are developed and supported by national organizations, mostly nonprofits, that provide professional development, materials, and support to networks of schools.