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Reading Recovery: Scaling Up What Works

Henry May, director of the Center for Research in Education and Social Policy (CRESP), is leading a team of researchers from the Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) to conduct a five-year independent evaluation of the Reading Recovery scale-up.

Reading Recovery (RR) is a research-based short-term literacy intervention of individualized instruction for the lowest-achieving first graders. Through its established network of university training centers, RR will be scaled up to target persistently low-performing schools, many of which serve high proportions of ELL students and/or students who live in rural areas.

In 2010, the U.S. Department of Education awarded a $45 million “Investing in Innovation” (i3) grant to fund the scale-up of Reading Recovery, an intensive intervention where highly trained teachers provide daily instruction to students during 30-minute one-to-one teaching sessions, helping first graders develop stronger reading skills.

In 2013, May, serving as principal investigator, and his team released the first of three reports, which demonstrated very positive outcomes for the program.

As a result of the intervention, the study reported in 2013 that RR students’ mean scores were in the 36th percentile nationally, while students in the control group had scores at the 18th percentile. The difference of +18 percentile points demonstrates a much larger impact than found with most literacy interventions.

Report released – December 2014

Report released – August 2013


For more information on the RR grant, see UDaily article.

Learn more about CRESP at www.cresp.udel.edu or on Twitter @UDCRESP