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.
In the 2013-2014 school year, we will be piloting a comprehensive (qualitative and quantitative) program evaluation to assess student reading skills, their attitude toward reading and school, and their reading-related behaviors throughout the year. This will allow us to better track each student’s progress and ensure high-quality programming.
The data and feedback from our first year-end Teacher Survey have been analyzed and we are very pleased with the results! We had 225 partner teachers complete the survey and provide data for 918 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, motivation to read, and participation in the classroom.
Here are some of key highlights:
- For 98% of Reading Seed students, teachers reported an improvement in reading skills. Even more exciting is that 35% of students improved a “significant” amount and 9% improved an “extraordinary” amount.
- For 97% of Reading Seed students, teachers reported an improved attitude towards reading. An astounding 42% of students improved a “significant” amount and 12% improved an “extraordinary” amount. In this category, positive results for female students were somewhat greater than for male students.
- For 97% of Reading Seed students, teachers reported an increase in their motivation to read. Of those, 39% increased a “significant” amount and 12% an “extraordinary” amount. A considerable difference was revealed in this category between male and female students; while 47% of female students demonstrated a “significant” increase in their motivation to read, only 32% of male students received that assessment.
- For 95% of Reading Seed students, teachers reported an increase in classroom participation. Of those, 37% demonstrated a “significant” increase and 8% demonstrated an “extraordinary” increase. Again, positive results in this area were somewhat greater for female students than for male students.
- Finally, 97% of our partner teachers reported that their students’ excitement about reading AND their confidence reading aloud increased as a result of working with a Reading Coach.
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.”