NEPC Resources on Reading Instruction
The Manhattan Institute's SchoolGrades.org evaluates and assigns grades, using reading and math test scores, to U.S. schools and compares schools across their respective states and to other countries. They apparently use a four-step process: (1) average two state test scores; (2) “norm” these results to the NAEP exam; (3) make an adjustment to this national “normed” measure using free and reduced price lunch data to account for SES; and (4) “norm” these results to the international PISA exam.
Following up on a previous study, researchers sought to investigate whether the effect on reading and math scores of being in a charter school was different in urban areas compared with other areas and to explore what might contribute to such differences. Overall, the study finds a small positive effect of being in a charter school on both math and reading scores and finds that this effect is slightly stronger in urban environments. There are significant reasons to exercise caution, however.
NEPC Review: Whole Language High Jinks: How to Tell When 'Scientifically-Based Reading Instruction' Isn't
In Whole language high jinks: How to tell when 'scientifically- based reading instruction' isn't, Louisa Moats contends that she provides "the necessary tools to distinguish those [programs] that truly are scientifically based... from those that merely pay lip service to science" (p. 10). This review finds that Moats exaggerates the findings of the National Reading Panel (NRP), especially the effects of systematic phonics on reading achievement. She also ignores research completed since the NRP report was issued seven years ago.