Tag Archive for 'wwc'

WWC on Houghton Mifflin Reading

The US What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) has released a review of the research on another beginning reading program, the Houghton Mifflin Reading© series. As has become expected, no studies meet the pristine standards to which the WWC holds research.

No studies of Houghton Mifflin Reading© that fall within the scope of the Beginning Reading review meet WWC evidence standards. The lack of studies meeting WWC evidence standards means that, at this time, the WWC is unable to draw any conclusions based on research about the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of Houghton Mifflin Reading©.

Link to the page focusing on Houghton Mifflin’s beginning reading product.

WWC more

The US What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) announced the availability of three additional intervention reports. In none of the three cases was there sufficient evidence to permit the WWC to draw conclusions about the benefits of the practices.

Breakthrough to Literacy is a curriculum for students in preschool through third grade that introduces them to a book-a-week throughout the year. The book serves as a focal point for classroom activities with whole group and small group instruction. The curriculum also offers independent learning activities, including computer-based instruction, that allow students to progress at their own pace. Read the WWC’s Breakthrough to Literacy intervention report at http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/reports/early_ed/btl/.

Mathematics in Context is a middle school mathematics curriculum for grades 5 through 8. The curriculum teaches students to explore the relationships among different domains of mathematics (such as algebra and geometry) and to develop strategies for reasoning through problems, encouraging students to collaborate on problem solving. The WWC’s Mathematics in Context intervention report is available at http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/reports/middle_math/math_context/.

The New Century High Schools Initiative is a program designed to improve large, underperforming high schools by transforming them into small schools with links to community organizations. The schools choose a curriculum that has a theme or career focus, such as engineering, health science, or theater. Each school partners with a community organization that can participate in curriculum development, school management, after-school activities, or other operational aspects of the school. To read the WWC’s intervention report on the New Century High Schools Initiative go to http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/reports/dropout/new_century/.

WWC on adolescent literarcy

The US What Works Clearinghouse recently released a new publication summarizing research about teaching literacy skills to adolescents.

The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) invites you to look at our newest practice guide, Improving Adolescent Literacy: Effective Classroom and Intervention Practices.

This guide provides five specific recommendations to improve literacy among adolescents in the upper elementary, middle, and high school grades.

Designed for teachers and other personnel who have direct contact with students, the guide presents strategies that have the strongest research support and are appropriate for use with adolescents.

Even though I’m a bit wary of the WWC analyses these days, this document appears to have been reasonably thoughtfully done. Here’s a link to download the pdf of the document.

New look for WWC

The US What Works Clearninghouse is touting the revision of its Web site:

Explore the new, redesigned WWC website

New Tools and Information for Practitioners, Researchers, and Policymakers at whatworks.ed.gov

The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) invites you to visit its newly improved website. New publications and features include:

* Quick reviews, a new series of publications that provide objective assessments of high-profile research studies and reports;
* New reports about educational interventions in the areas of dropout prevention, beginning reading, and early childhood education;
* New practice guides, the latest of which describes practical solutions for turning around chronically underperforming schools;
* Customizable ratings charts, which allow you to sort WWC findings by the categories most important to you.

The new website has a more user friendly navigation, more powerful capability to search for specific interventions, an expanded set of frequently asked questions and answers, a new glossary of research terms, and a document library that includes all the WWC’s user guides and research papers in one place.

Link to the WWC.

WWC on RM and OC

The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) published reports on two leading curricula for reading instruction in the US, Reading Mastery and Open Court Reading today. The reports essentially state that the research base for the two programs does not include studies that meet the WWC standards for evidence that can be used to assess effectiveness.

Reading Mastery is a full-year curriculum designed to provide systematic instruction in English language reading. The program teaches phonemic awareness, sound-letter correspondence, word and passage reading, vocabulary development, comprehension, and building oral reading fluency. Read the WWC’s Reading Mastery intervention report at http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/reports/beginning_reading/rdgmastery/.

Open Court Reading© is an elementary basal reading program for grades K-6. The program is designed to follow a logical progression, systematically teaching decoding, comprehension, inquiry and investigation, and writing. The WWC’s Open Court Reading© intervention report is available at http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/reports/beginning_reading/open_court/.

WWC again

The US Department of Education What Works Clearinghouse released new reviews of practices last week. One is about “New Chance” and the other is about “First Things First.” Here are the descriptions of the interventions from the WWC pages (based on what WWC could obtain from publicly available documents).

New Chance:

New Chance, a program for young welfare mothers who have dropped out of school, aims to improve both their employment potential and their parenting skills. Participants take GED (General Educational Development) preparation classes and complete a parenting and life skills curriculum. Once they complete this first phase of the program, they can receive occupational training and job placement assistance from New Chance, which also offers case management and child care.

First Things First:

First Things First is a reform model intended to transform elementary, middle, and high schools serving significant proportions of economically disadvantaged students. Its three main components are: (1) “small learning communities” of students and teachers, (2) a family and student advocate system that pairs staff members and students to monitor and support progress and that serves as a bridge between the school and family, and (3) instructional improvements to make classroom teaching more rigorous and engaging and more closely aligned with state standards and assessments.

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WWC releases more results

The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC), an initiative of the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences that is currently under contract to American Institutes of Research, released several sets of new reports. The reports cover topics in (a) beginning reading, (b) drop-out prevention, (c) early childhood education, (d) elementary school math, (e) English lanaguage learning, and (f) middle school. Here’s a clipping from the release notice.
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WWC–new reports

The What Works Clearinghouse released new reports this week. Here are the topics, the foci, and links to the reports.

The first one sort of mystifies me. The WWC used as evidence of effectiveness of RR a study that essentially showed the basic RR method was less effective.

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