Research Reports

The R&D Undergirding BRI-ARI: SWRL
The history of BRI-ARI and the R&D that led to its current status.

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Development of Initial READ
The documentation of the programmatic R&D from which the READ derives is recorded in more than 100 technical publications and journal articles. The inquiry involved a wide range of analytic and empirical investigations designed to reduce the uncertainty associated with the development of effective and economical resources for reliable instruction in reading.
The paper overviews the repeated cycles of classroom testing and revision of program materials and procedures.

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The Long-term Effects on High School Seniors of Learning to Read in Kindergarten
Many people believe that, over the long term, early-age reading instruction will have a negative impact on children’s reading skills and attitudes.  Accompanying this belief are two others:
One, it doesn’t matter when formal reading instruction begins - since first grade is traditional, start there.
Two, any gains a child makes in early-age reading instruction will be “washed out” within a few years.
The study controverts both beliefs.  Findings showed that instruction in Kindergarten with the initial READ program resulted in lasting effects that were clearly evident at the time the children had gone on to become high school seniors.

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Making Change Happen: A new look at Schooling Effects from Programmatic Research and Development

Why We Were Interested
: Studies almost without exception show a high relationship between socioeconomic status and reading achievement. We believed that this was due to two considerations: weak reading instruction and insensitive measures of achievement.

What We Did
: The use of the initial READ program in a large number of school districts provided the basis for the study that was replicated over a 2 year period.  Around 300 school districts, 2000 schools, 4000 kindergarten classes and 100,000 pupils participated for the full school year.

The instruction occurred under ordinary classroom conditions; the study was completely unobtrusive. We gathered information on the ethnic and socioeconomic status of pupils’ families, and teachers administered a “Criterion Exercise” upon completion of each of 10 “Units” of instruction.  Pupil scores on the tests provided information both on the amount of instruction presented, and on pupil performances. This information could then be arrayed by ethnic and socioeconomic status.  It could also be arrayed by teacher, school, and LEA to determine the variability in these categories. The large population made it possible to randomly sample large subsamples to confirm replicability. The second year replication of the study yielded further confirmatory information.

What We Found Out: The data consistently supports the explanation that performance variation was due to the number of days spent on instruction during the year rather than from any biosocial characteristics.

The data indicate that the concept of 'educationally disadvantaged' is a creation of manipulated and manipulable conditions under the control of schools rather than the result of immutable genetic and environmental factors.

Bottom Line: When teachers teach, students learn. But to find out what has been taught, more sensitive indicators than prevailing instructionally-insensitive tests must be used.

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