Project ECRI: Enhancing Core Reading Instruction in First Grade


Principal Investigators: Scott Baker, Ph.D; Hank Fien, Ph.D.; Jean Mercier Smith, Ph.D.; Lana Santoro, Ph.D.

Key Personnel: Erin Chaparro, Ph.D; Yonghan Park, Ph.D

Funding Agency Program Goal Award Period Amount
USDE: IES - National Center for Special Education Research Special Education Policy, Finance, and Systems 3: Efficacy and Replication 4 years (2009-2013) $5,115,878

Purpose: Primary - and secondary - reading instruction that is part of a Response to Intervention model is often delivered through a core reading program. Implementation of core programs can vary widely among teachers, and poor implementation may weaken the potential of the program to improve student outcomes. In addition, the core program alone may not be sufficient for addressing all of the needs of students who require more intensive secondary intervention. For these students, practitioners may purchase accompanying materials that often do not align well with the core program. Given the variation in implementation and lack of alignment across instructional materials, intervention provided to students who require secondary intervention may not be optimally effective. The researchers at the University of Oregon have developed an enhanced Response to Intervention system, called Enhancing Core Reading Instruction in First Grade, to improve implementation of high quality instruction and align instruction and intervention materials. In this project, researchers are testing whether this system improves reading instruction, increases reading achievement, and prevents reading problems and the misidentification of students with specific learning disabilities.

Project Activities: An efficacy evaluation of the Enhancing Core Reading Instruction in First Grade intervention will be conducted; schools will be randomly assigned to receive the intervention or serve as a comparison group. The Enhancing Core Reading Instruction in First Grade system includes (a) highly specified protocols intended to enhance instructional content and emphasis and (b) two years of intense and ongoing professional development on using the protocols. During the first year of intervention, first grade teachers will receive ongoing professional development on using enhanced lessons and maps that supplement the core reading program. Teachers will receive professional development on the use of progress monitoring data protocols during the second year of the intervention. Researchers will follow students into second and third grade. A series of analytic procedures, including hierarchical linear modeling, will be used to determine the efficacy of the intervention on students' reading proficiency.

Products: The products of this project include evidence of the efficacy of the Enhancing Core Reading Instruction in First Grade system, published reports, and presentations.

Setting: The research will occur in urban and suburban schools in Oregon.

Population: High poverty and Title 1 schools in Oregon that have high proportions of English language learner and minority populations will be recruited. Approximately 44 schools will participate.

Intervention: The Enhancing Core Reading Instruction in First Grade intervention includes highly specified daily instructional protocols within the context of a core reading program. The protocols focus on two areas: (a) implementation of lesson maps and instruction template protocols and (b) implementation of protocols that focus on the use of student progress monitoring data to make ongoing instructional decisions. Teachers receive two years of intense and ongoing professional development on the protocols. During the first year of intervention, first grade teachers will implement the lesson and component maps and receive ongoing professional development on implementing these materials. Teachers will utilize protocols on use of progress monitoring data and receive ongoing professional development on these materials during the second year of the intervention.

Research Design and Methods: Schools will be randomly assigned either to receive the Enhancing Core Reading Instruction in First Grade intervention or to serve as a comparison group. Researchers will follow students into second and third grade to determine the long-term efficacy of the intervention.

Control Condition: In the comparison condition, schools will implement their usual services.

Key Measures: Data on students' word reading skills, reading fluency, reading comprehension, overall reading proficiency, and receptive vocabulary will be collected. In addition, researchers will collect data on intervention fidelity and relative strength and teachers' knowledge of reading instruction.

Data Analytic Strategy: A series of analytic procedures, including hierarchical linear modeling, will be used to determine the efficacy of the intervention.