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Reading Recovery's tool to measure achievement receives highest ratings

EHE News
Mon, 2012-01-09 13:40

Jerome V. D'Agostino

The screening tool used by Reading Recovery to evaluate children's reading knowledge, "An Observation Survey of Early Literacy Achievement," has received the highest ratings for scientific rigor from the National Center on Response to Intervention (NCRTI).

The NCRTI ratings help educators select screening tools that are valid, reliable and evidence-based. In turn, results from the screening tools such as the college's survey guide teachers in planning instruction for beginning readers.

The Observation Survey measures how much children know or have learned in six tasks: letter identification, word reading, concepts about print, writing vocabulary, hearing and recording sounds in words, and text reading.

"The NCRTI rating is welcome affirmation for more than 7,400 Reading Recovery-trained teachers, as well as classroom teachers and researchers who have long seen the powerful and practical use of Observation Survey results," said Jady Johnson, executive director of the Reading Recovery Council of North America, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio.

"The new NCRTI ratings provide additional evidence of Reading Recovery's strong scientific base."

"An Observation Survey of Early Literacy Achievement" is the work of Marie Clay, a New Zealand educator and developmental psychologist whose theoretical perspective focused on the individual learner. She developed systematic tasks that enable instructors to observe young literacy learners with confidence.

Years of research and refinement led to the current publication now available from the publisher Heinemann. The survey is used to by Reading Recovery, researchers and classroom and specialist teachers to measure student learning.

Reading Recovery, brought to North America in 1984 by Ohio State researchers, is an intensive, short-term tutoring program for lowest achieving first-grade students having extreme difficulty learning to read and write.

Reading Recovery's professional development program is led by university trainers at the College of Education and Human Ecology, with partners established at institutions nationwide. The university trainers prepare teacher leaders, who in turn work with youngsters and classroom teachers in their home districts.

Measuring student results using the Observation Survey has been a cornerstone for Reading Recovery since its founding. The survey is administered to each of more than 62,000 U.S. Reading Recovery students before lessons, at the end of lessons, and in the spring of first grade.

Teachers report results to the International Data Evaluation Center (IDEC) located at Ohio State. IDEC's remarkable database and the expertise of Jerome V. D'Agostino, IDEC's director of research and professor of educational policy and leadership in the College of Education and Human Ecology, were key in accomplishing the complex statistical analysis needed to meet NCRTI's criteria.

Find out more about Reading Recovery and Response to Intervention.

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