An evaluation of READ 180 in an urban secondary school
The purpose of this research was to evaluate the effectiveness of an intensive reading program, "READ 180," in an urban secondary school. READ 180 combines research-based reading practices with the use of technology, purporting to offer students an opportunity to achieve reading success through a combination of instructional, modeled, and independent reading components. In a year-long project, 9th grade students who participated in READ 180 were tracked and compared to a similar group of students not involved in the implementation of READ 180. Results of students' reading achievement, as well as gender differences, interviews related to student feelings about reading, and satisfaction with READ 180 were collected and summarized. Analysis of Co-Variance was used to examine differences among means for data that were continuous (score) variables. In addition, since students initially differed in reading ability, several of the background measures were combined via a multiple regression continuity analysis. The dependent variable was the reading (SRI) scores, and the background variables and a pair of dummy variables representing the two groups of subjects constituted the set of independent variables. Although results were mixed, some positive statistically significant differences were found with moderate to strong effect sizes, between students involved with the READ 180 model and a comparison group relative to standardized reading achievement measures. Furthermore, results are evaluated and interpreted in light of teachers' instructional behaviors, teachers' and students' satisfaction with READ 180, and students' performance on reading achievement measures. Finally, methodological issues are presented along with implications and recommendations for future research.