North Dakota Reading Corps End-of-Year Evaluation 2017-18 Executive Summary
Reading Corps is an AmeriCorps program that provides trained literacy tutors to support reading development for students in PreKindergarten through grade 3. Reading Corps tutors are trained to implement evidence-based literacy instruction and assessment protocols. Tutors are supported by a multi-level coaching model that includes site-based (“Internal”) and external (“Master”) coaches.
Tutors at the PreKindergarten level are embedded into a classroom to collaborate with teaching staff to implement literacy-rich practices for all students and targeted, more intensive interventions for students who need them. Tutors at the Kindergarten through grade 3 level work with approximately 5-11 at-risk students for 20 minutes each day. The research-based tutoring interventions are supplemental to the core reading instruction provided at each school. The goal of the tutoring is to accelerate student growth so that they catch up to their grade level targets.
The Reading Corps evaluation addresses four broad questions with data collected during
the 2017-18 school year.
1. What is the scope of the Reading Corps program in North Dakota?
Five Reading Corps PreK tutors served 106 students at 4 sites, and 50 K-3 tutors served 759 students at 40 sites. On average, PreK students received 13 weeks of tutoring with an average of 22 minutes per week, while K-3 students received 15 weeks of tutoring with an average of 67 minutes per week.
2. How accurately is the Reading Corps program implemented in North Dakota?
Reading Corps Master Coaches and Internal Coaches observed tutors administering assessments and delivering interventions throughout the school year. These observations allow for coaches to build on the tutor’s formal training and to help tutors improve their implementation of the Reading Corps model. The results of the observations show that the assessments and interventions were conducted with high levels of mean fidelity (>90% accuracy) and in accordance with their established evidence base.
3. What are the primary outcomes of Reading Corps in North Dakota?
PreKindergarten Student Performance
Tutors at the PreK level use measures of early literacy to evaluate their students’ Kindergarten readiness. These measures correspond to important early literacy skills including early phonemic awareness, early phonics skills, and early vocabulary or language skills.
Age 4 and Age 5 students showed substantial growth in all five early literacy measures. The percentage of students meeting the Kindergarten readiness target increased between 22 and 50 percentage points from the fall to the spring for each measure. Of students who will likely move to Kindergarten next year (Age 4 and 5), 91% demonstrated growth on three or more measures, and 47% demonstrated growth on all five measures.
Kindergarten to Grade 3 Student Performance
Reading Corps tutors at the K-3 level monitor the progress of the students they are tutoring using early literacy measures that assess students’ phonics or reading fluency skills. Weekly progress monitoring scores for participating students demonstrated that 77% of students had a weekly growth rate above their grade level target. Additionally, the average weekly growth rate for students exceeded the target growth for all five grade levels and measures.
4. What do key stakeholders and implementers report regarding how participation in Reading Corps has affected their beliefs, opinions, and/or professional practices?
The vast majority of Internal Coaches, administrators, teachers, and tutors reported that participation in Reading Corps had a positive impact on both their students and their site. 96% of teachers responded that tutors are a valuable component of their school’s reading resources, and 100% of administrators reported that they would recommend Reading Corps to others in their network.