National Study of the Effectiveness of Reading Comprehension Interventions

Prepared For

U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences

U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Evaluation

Mathematica conducted a study over the course of two school years evaluating the effectiveness of four supplemental reading comprehension programs in helping disadvantaged fifth graders improve their reading comprehension.

American children often struggle with comprehending the more complex texts used in elementary school science and social studies classes. This is especially true of children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Title I of the No Child Left Behind Act calls for closing the gap between high and low achievers through instructional approaches shown to be effective by scientifically based research. Yet, little is known about the effectiveness of different approaches for teaching reading comprehension strategies, making it difficult for state and local educators to decide how to best use Title I funds to improve educational outcomes.

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