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Ask A REL Featured Question

The Ask A REL Reference Desk provides education stakeholders from the Northwest region with prompt, authoritative, and customized answers to research and policy questions. On a regular basis, we share our responses to questions from the field.

Where Can I Find Rigorous Research on Reading Programs and Interventions?

September 7, 2011

REL Northwest’s Ask A REL Reference Desk has received several requests for research on reading programs and interventions. We have referred people to the authoritative resources listed below.

IES Regional Educational Laboratory Program
Many of the regional educational laboratories (RELs) have produced reports and rigorous evaluations of reading programs. REL Northwest recently released an experimental study on the Project CRISS reading intervention, which is designed to help students of all abilities learn content information across the curriculum and throughout the grade levels.

What Works Clearinghouse (WWC)
The WWC publishes intervention reports that evaluate research on beginning reading, adolescent literacy, and programs for students with learning disabilities. The latest report is on the Great Books reading program, which found no studies meeting evidence standards.

Center on Instruction
The Center on Instruction offers materials and resources on reading that help educators improve reading outcomes for students in grades K–12 and prevent students from developing reading difficulties in the early grades. One of the Center’s latest publications is a second edition of the Effective Instruction for Struggling Adolescent Readers. In addition to a link to that work, the site also features an August 2011 publication by the National Research Council that highlights key aspects of language and literacy development from birth to grade 3.

Best Evidence Encyclopedia
The Best Evidence Encyclopedia (a project of Johns Hopkins University funded by the Institute of Education Sciences) has created reviews of evidence on reading programs for beginning reading achievement, upper elementary, middle/high school, English language learners, and struggling readers. The user-friendly format provides tables that list top-rated programs, limited evidence programs, other programs, key findings, review summaries, and review methods.

National Center on Response to Intervention
The National Center on Response to Intervention (RtI) has established a standard process to evaluate the scientific rigor of commercially available tools and interventions that can be used in an RTI context. The "Instructional Intervention Tools Chart" lists commercially available secondary intervention instructional programs and research studies that document those programs’ effectiveness. These are programs to be used in a small-group setting with students not progressing in the core general education curriculum.

The Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Reference Desk is a service provided by a collaborative of the REL program, funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES). This response was prepared under a contract with IES, Contract ED-06-CO-0016, by REL Northwest administered by Education Northwest. The content of the response does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of IES or the U.S. Department of Education nor does mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government or REL Northwest.