August 17, 2007

The Nothing Works Clearinghouse

After a two-year wait, a new review of beginning reading programs by the What Work's Clearinghouse has found only a handful of comprehensive or supplemental programs that have evidence of effectiveness in raising student achievement. As Ed Week points out, "But what is missing from the review may be even more telling: None of the most popular commercial reading programs on the market had sufficiently rigorous studies to be included in the review by the clearinghouse."

Most of the programs that made it into the Clearinghouse were supplemental programs- only one comprehensive program, Reading Recovery, met the requirements for all the domains reviewed. It wasn't so long ago that federal officials were discouraging states and districts from using Reading Recovery under the federal Reading First program.

NCLB demands the use of programs that are proven to be effective through scientifically based research. With just one program making the cut for early readers, the pickings are slim.