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How do you know if a reading remediation program is effective?

Updated: Oct 25, 2023

By Shawna Audet

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effective reading program qualities

Recently, I was asked to evaluate a reading program that is being used by a school in my area. The school administrator was concerned about the effectiveness of the program. She wanted to understand if the program is suitable to be used with kids who are struggling with literacy. I was interested in the answer to this question too, because several students have come to me for reading remediation after using this program.

My first step was to go to What Works Clearinghouse to read about studies that have been on the program. Unfortunately, there were none. A Google search led me to a few sites where the company who makes the product makes claims of its efficacy. I disregarded the information from those sites because they provided insufficient evidence to back up their claims.

What are we to do when there are no proper studies to give us information about the effectiveness of a reading remediation program? My answer was to go to my most trusted sources on the qualities of effective reading remediation programs. I compiled that data and made my own checklist. The checklist was useful for me when I was evaluating the program because it allowed me to pinpoint the areas in which this product veered off the path taken by effective programs. You can download the checklist by clicking on the link below. It is a working document, so if you have any suggestions for improvement, I would love to hear them.

Download PDF • 233KB

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