In response to my post on this topic, Susan Godsland contacted me to query the evidence for the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) promoting Reading Recovery, she wrote:
The EEF say that RR, ''is highlighted by the Early Intervention Foundation
guidebook for the positive impacts found in several high-quality evaluations conducted in America''. https://guidebook.eif.org.uk/programme/reading-recovery
Would it be possible to ask James Chapman and Jennifer Buckingham to comment on this research review for us?
I contacted Professors James Chapman and Jennifer Buckingham for their comments on the research in the EIF guidebook.
James is very unimpressed and responded with this information:
Study 1, by Schwartz only includes assessments from Clay’s Observation Survey plus reading book level. No standardised assessments were used, which has often drawn criticism by researchers who have examined RR.
Study 2, by May et al. was a large study funded mainly by Obama’s i3 stimulus fund following the global financial crisis. Bill Tunmer and I published a critique of the study in the US journal, Reading Psychology. Copy attached. In essence, this study had no proper control group, but a variety of comparison conditions; in violation of RR guidelines and Marie Clay’s explicit recommendation, various schools in the study did not put their “hardest to teach” (Clay) students into the programme, presumably because they didn’t think RR would do any good; the “success” rate was only 53%.
I’ve also attached another paper Bill and I wrote for the UK journal Education Review, focussing on RR’s unrecovered readers.
Interesting that Study 1 & 2 received a rating of 3 out of 4. Those who provided the ratings might need to take a graduate level research methods course.
Study 3, by D’Agostino et al received a rating of 2, which is generous. That study had numerous caveats about the efficacy of RR.
In the US, Pam Cook et al have been highly critical of the May et al i3 scale-up of RR. She and the others are not academics and have done a tremendous piece of work taking the May et al study to task. Cook et al have written a number of pieces about this. I’ve attached the one that is probably most germane.
Jennifer Buckingham identified problems with a RR study undertaken out of the London Institute of Education. I’ll leave it for her to comment!
James kindly sent me the following reviews of the RR research to support his comments:
https://debbiehepplewhite.com/wp-conten ... e-2019.pdf
Reading Recovery’s unrecovered learners: Characteristics and issues
James W. Chapman* and William E. Tunmer
College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
https://debbiehepplewhite.com/wp-conten ... 8-2-PB.pdf
The Reading Wars and Reading Recovery: What Educators, Families, and Taxpayers Should Know
Deborah R. Rodes
Kay L. Lipsitz
https://debbiehepplewhite.com/wp-conten ... -Study.pdf
Is Reading Recovery an Effective Intervention for Students with Reading Difficulties? A Critique of the i3 Scale-Up Study
James W. Chapman & William E. Tunmer