Posted September 10, 2020
During the 2018–19 school year CORE provided training to primary grade teachers and administrators in Pajaro Valley Unified School District (PVUSD) in the science of reading and how use the Systematic Instruction in Phonological Awareness, Phonics and Sight words (SIPPS) reading foundational skills program. This professional learning was followed by modified lesson studies that provided additional modeling and practice to enable teachers to ensure the program components were implemented with fidelity.
SEG Measurement, a third-party research firm, looked at the reading performance of approximately 475 first grade students in eight schools where teachers had participated in CORE professional development. These 475 students were matched based on multiple characteristics to an additional group of 475 students whose teachers did not receive training and coaching from CORE to create a control group. The study was designed to meet the requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) guidance for Moderate Evidence (U.S. Department of Education, 2016).
Students in classes with teachers participating in CORE professional development showed significantly greater growth in reading skills than did students in classes with teachers who did not receive CORE professional development.
Student reading skills were measured using Fountas and Pinnell’s Reading Level Assessment at the beginning of the school year (pretest) and at the end of the school year (posttest). These results were then converted through logarithmic transformations to assure a normal distribution. SEG Measurement found that the control group mean reading posttest score was .82 while the mean reading posttest score for the treatment group was .88, or about a fifth of a standard deviation more growth in reading skills. This effect size, in the context of providing professional development, is quite impressive. While other factors certainly contribute to student achievement (e.g. curriculum and instruction), this study demonstrates that the professional development provided by CORE made a difference in student achievement.
Similar studies were done by SEG among second and third grade students in PVUSD. As with the first grade students, second and third grade students whose teachers who took part in CORE professional learning also showed significantly greater growth in reading skills. Read more about these studies.