Alverman, D., Commeyras, M., Cramer, S., Harnish, D. (2005). Evaluation of Georgia Reading First implementation, process, and impact 2004-2005. Athens, GA: University of Georgia, College of Education.
Author: Alverman, D., Commeyras, M., Cramer, S., Harnish, D.
A part of the 2004-05 evaluation of Georgia Reading First was the careful examination of literacy coaches' work with K-3 teachers. The study also documented the student performance data that was available. While the study did not track individual coaches and teachers through to the achievement levels of their students, there are some general indicators about student performance. The study is interesting both for the methods used and the results. UGA developed a set of questions that were used with coaches that addressed various topics. The responses from coaches were collected monthly using a web-based reporting system. This allowed the evaluators to gather assessment information from literacy coaches at regular points throughout the school year. The information gathered was collected and analyzed to identify emerging issues and concerns. The feedback was used formatively to make changes in the professional development and technical assistance. In addition to the monthly online survey responses, telephone interviews with a randomly selected sample of 30% of the literacy coaches were conducted by evaluators at the end of the school year to seek deeper and more detailed information about implementation issues.
A majority of kindergarten, grade one, and grade two teachers and a significant minority of grade three, special education/early intervention program, and other teachers reported being observed by their literacy coach more than once a month. A majority of literacy coaches themselves reported observing more than once a month at all grade levels. There was a significant difference between teachers and literacy coaches when it came to being observed weekly. Approximately half the literacy coaches reported doing this at each grade level whereas approximately a quarter of the teachers at all grade levels thought they were being observed weekly.
There was a difference between teachers and literacy coaches concerning the frequency of specific and constructive feedback to instruction. Literacy coaches reported it happening more often then did teachers. A majority of kindergarten, grade two, and grade three teachers reported the feedback given by the literacy coach after an observation as always helpful.
There was a mixed outcome for all Reading First schools in grade level year-to-year comparisons of student achievement on the ITBS reading subtests. There were 21 subtest comparisons across all three grade levels (seven subtests for each grade). Of these, 11 (52%) of the comparisons revealed an increase in the percent of RF students scoring at or above the 50th percentile compared to the previous year and three of these increases were statistically significant, however 10 (48%) of the comparisons revealed a decrease in the percent of Reading First students scoring at or above the 50th percentile compared to the previous year and two of these decreases were statistically significant.
Date Added: 09/26/2006
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