Reading Seed is dedicated to ensuring that every student we serve gains the critical reading skills they need to prepare them for academic, social, and civic success. We are constantly working to improve our internal program evaluation and to expand our capacity to conduct rigorous data collection and analysis.
Based on the analysis of the 2013-2014 DIBELS data provided by Tucson Unified School District, the Reading Seed Program has a statistically significant impact on the DIBELS scores of struggling readers in kindergarten through third grade. For every measure in every grade, Reading Seed students had a greater overall rate of improvement than Non-Reading Seed students in the same grade.
On average, first through third graders enrolled in the Reading Seed program showed 30% greater gains in assessed literacy skills.
A separate analysis of Reading Seed’s impact on kindergarten students’ progress demonstrated even greater impact. In terms of total percent change in their reading skill scores in three categories, kindergarten students working with a Reading Seed coach improved their scores by a total of 563%, compared to 353% for Non-Reading Seed students.
This means that the average learning gains were 70% greater for kindergarteners who worked with a Reading Seed Coach.
The data and feedback from our 2015-2016 year-end Teacher Survey have been analyzed and we are very pleased with the results! We had 111 partner teachers complete the survey and provide data for 431 students who received Reading Seed services this past school year.
For each participating student, teachers were asked to assess the impact of Reading Seed Coaching on students’ reading skills, attitude towards reading, interest in books and engagement in classroom/learning activities.
Here are some of key highlights:
- For 93% of Reading Seed students, teachers reported an improvement in reading skills. Even more exciting is that 38% of students improved a “significant” amount and 9% improved an “extraordinary” amount.
- For 93% of Reading Seed students, teachers reported an improved attitude towards reading. An astounding 44% of students improved a “significant” amount and 12% improved an “extraordinary” amount.
- For 90% of Reading Seed students, teachers reported an increase in engagement in classroom/learning activities. Of those, 38% demonstrated a “significant” increase and 9% demonstrated an “extraordinary” increase.
- For 95% of Reading Seed students, teachers reported an increase in student interest in books. 45% of those students displayed a “significant” increase in their interest in books and 13% an “extraordinary” increase.
- Girls performed slightly higher than boys across all categories. The performance gap between genders was higher than what was reported last year but is in line with previous years.
The purpose of this data analysis was to evaluate what impact the Reading Seed Coaching Program has on the rate of improvement for TUSD students in kindergarten through third grade who work one-on-one with a volunteer Reading Seed Coach.
Reading Seed was provided with DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) outcome data for 413 students in TUSD elementary schools who worked with a Reading Seed Coach during the 2011-2012 school year. Also provided was the DIBELS outcome data for 13,464 TUSD elementary students who did not receive regular reading support from a Reading Seed Coach.
The analysis demonstrates that the Reading Seed Coaching Program has a statistically significant impact on the DIBELS scores of struggling readers in kindergarten through third grade. A combined analysis of DIBELS Oral Reading Fluency scores for 1st through 3rd graders demonstrates that for Reading Seed students’ the percent change (improvement) in their scores was on average 36% greater than students who did not have Reading Coaches. This is a significant outcome for the program and for the students that Reading Seed serves.
Reading Seed Children’s Literacy Program (RS) was evaluated during the spring of 2005 by College of Education researchers. The pilot study was designed to address the overall question, “Is the Reading Seed tutoring program effective?” Four sub-questions were developed to target specific issues:
1. Did students who received tutoring by a RS coach increase their reading performance beyond that of their non-tutored matched classmates?
2. What strengths and weaknesses of the program did tutored students identify?
3. What strengths and weaknesses did classroom teachers of tutored RS students identify?
4. What strengths and weaknesses of the program did reading coaches identify?
One hundred children tutored in the Reading Seed program were randomly selected for the pilot study. The classroom teachers of the randomly selected tutored children were asked to match the tutored children with non-tutored children functioning at the same reading level. Coordinators of the Reading Seed program at each school were given permission forms to distribute and collect from the parents of the children who were participating in the study.
Researchers concluded: “Reading Seed tutoring makes a substantial impact on students, teachers and the tutors.”