Failure Free Reading
Study: Torgesen et al. (2006)

Summary

Failure Free Reading (FFR) is a research based, scientifically validated diagnostic/prescriptive reading intervention documented in numerous quality design research studies to improve reading outcomes for students who have not responded to regular and/or remedial reading instruction. The program’s unique combination of scaffolds enable the lowest level readers to immediately experience success with age- and grade level- appropriate passages regardless of current reading ability. FFR’s approach has consistently been shown to rapidly build comprehension, vocabulary and fluency, along with efficacy, confidence and esteem. Multi-sensory, and based on intensive language development, the print-based FFR methodology was developed in the late 1980’s by program author Dr. Joseph Lockavitch for special education and at-risk students, along with other “treatment resisters” (including those with language and/or audio phonological deficits). The software component was added in the 1990s. Over the years, numerous studies involving FFR as treatment (including 8 published studies) reported rapid and significant gains in comprehension and other measures. For example, two of the published studies reported a more than 40% reduction in the numbers of students who, post treatment, would have no longer qualified for special education services based on IQ-Achievement discrepancies. Unfortunately, neither of those studies incorporated control groups so they are not being submitted as part of this response. However, in part because of FFR’s documented evidence in reducing the number of students unnecessarily placed in special education, the publisher believes FFR is an appropriate Response to Intervention (RtI) program for Tier ll and Tier lll level students performing in the bottom 15 percent (below Basic) on standardized reading tests. FFR can rapidly move Level 1 English Language Learners (ELLs), learning disabled, cognitively challenged, at-risk, and treatment resisters up the proficiency scale, to levels 2 & 3, so that they can participate in and benefit from core and remedial instruction. In support, the What Works the National Reading Research Clearing House (WWC) reported an improvement index average of 10 percentile points (Power4Kids, 2006 – one of the studies submitted as part of this response) for comprehension measures and concludes that the average effect size across the two comprehension outcomes was “large enough to be considered substantively important,” though it was not statistically significant (note: Power4Kids focused on striving readers and not the typical group of bottom 15% performing students that FFR targets). In the interest of “collecting more evidence on the program’s effects” (see attached Narrative document in PDF format), MDRC of NYC applied for an Institute of Education Sciences (IES) grant in June 2009 to fund a two year national validation randomized trial study (goal 3 reading topic) to involve a total sample of approximately 1,200 grades 3,4, & 5 students in 25 schools. The authors of Power4Kids (Torgesen et al., 2007) later reported the following outcomes in their one year follow up evaluation (note: Note: for students in the third-grade cohort, FFR (the only word level plus comprehension program) had an impact on one measure of phonemic decoding, two of the three measures of word reading accuracy and fluency, and one measure of comprehension: • Alphabetics: FFR had a statistically significant effect on one measure of phonemic decoding and one measure of word reading accuracy. The average effect size across the Word Attack was statistically significant and large enough one year later to be considered substantively important according to the WWC criteria (that is, an effect size of .33). In addition, the authors found statistically significant and large effect sizes to occur with a significant number of their 3rd grade subgroups: Students with High Baseline Word Attack Scores, Students with Low Vocabulary, and Students Eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch (effect sizes of : .62, .46 and.45 respectively). The average effect size for the Test of Word Reading Efficiency (TOWRE) for Students Eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch was statistically significant and/or large enough one year later to be considered substantively important according to the WWC criteria (that is, an effect size of .24). • Fluency. One outcome in this domain (the Oral Reading Fluency test) was reported and the authors reported a statistically significant effect for FFR. While the overall average effect size of .20 was not large enough to be considered substantively important according to WCC criteria, the authors reported that FFR did have a statistically significant effect and/or large enough effective size to be considered substantively important for two 3rd grade cohorts: those with High Baseline Word Attack Scores, and those with Low Vocabulary (effect size of .25 and .27 respectively). • Comprehension. Two outcomes were reported for this domain (WRMT–R: Passage Comprehension subtest and Group Reading Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation (GRADE): Passage Comprehension subtest) and again reported statistically significant effects similar to those found in the first year of the initial year report (Torgesen et al., 2006). FFR did have a statistically significant effect and/or large enough effective size in the Passage Comprehension subtest to be statistically significant and/or considered substantively important for five 3rd grade cohorts: High Baseline Word Attack, High Vocabulary, Low Baseline Word Attack with High Vocabulary, High Baseline Word Attack with High Vocabulary and Students Not Eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch (effect sizes of: .40, .36, .26, .50,and .51 respectively). The authors also reported that Failure Free Reading did have a statistically significant effect and/or large enough effective size in the Group Reading Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation (GRADE) subtest to be statistically significant and/or considered substantively important for four 3rd grade cohorts: High Baseline Word Attack, Low Baseline Word Attack with High Vocabulary, Low Baseline Word Attack with High Vocabulary and Students Eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch (effect sizes of: .35, .42, .53, and .37 respectively). Unlike most other commercial reading interventions, FFR combines word level instruction with reading comprehension/vocabulary instruction. The program does not incorporate phonics or phonemic decoding instruction, attempt to remediate deficits, or “teach skills to mastery”. Instead, FFR’s unique non-phonic methodology compensates for the environmental, language and audio-phonological deficits that prevent so many students from reading age-level texts with fluency and comprehension success, and developing grade level vocabularies. FFR is less concerned with etiology (why a student is a “non-reader”) and more what the utilization of effective instructional strategies found to impact non-readers, such as the use of multiple exposures within multiple contexts (McCormick,1994). Students who are engaged in highly sequenced cumulative learning opportunities presented to them in a consistent multi-contextual format show significant growth. The program employs multiple exposures within multiple contexts through the use of teacher-guided language/literacy lessons, talking software and pencil & paper reinforcement activities. Included in the program are thematic Lexile-based reading Illustrated Booklets, Instructional Readers, flashcards and take home parent communication reports. The lessons in the FFR Elementary, Secondary and Life Skills Solutions – and Rapid Response to Reading Intervention offerings – are all based on the same highly structured pedagogy. Each lesson takes 45-60 minutes to deliver, and is taught in a one-to-one or small group format. Each day, the instruction begins with scripted direct teacher-led lesson that involves five steps: previewing material, listening to the instructor read, answering factual, inferential, and leading questions, reading the material, and reviewing the material. Following the teacher-led lesson, students complete a talking software session, and then pencil & paper activities, both of which are designed to extend and reinforce the teacher lesson. FFR materials are highly controlled semantically and syntactically, and provide students with sufficient repetition regardless of individual need. All content is age and developmentally appropriate content. Students rapidly acquire Dolch words and EDL Core Vocabulary in the context of simple stories they can access and relate to. The methodology is designed to immediately enable students to experience success, maximal time on task, and a sense of challenge. As a result, even secondary age “non-readers” become capable of rapidly building self-efficacy and esteem, and experiencing success and independent engagement. FFR presents these age appropriate materials within a multi-sensory format using practices based on direct instruction, scaffolding, repeated readings and meta-cognitive strategies. More importantly, Failure Free Reading has created instructional materials which incorporate the principles of cumulative learning (McCormick, 1994), and stress the therapeutic necessity of (1.) repetition within multiple instructional contexts (Gates, 1930, Hargis et. al., 1992, McCormick, 1994), (2.) control for syntax and semantics (Harper, 1979, Wigg and Semel,1980), and (3.) providing immediate performance feedback. Key to the efficacy of FFR is its instructional integration, cognitive chunking and multiple exposures within multiple contexts. Assessment is on-going and utilizes Lexile-based diagnostic prescriptive software, paper and pencil criterion referenced CBM tests measuring discrete growth in: word recognition, comprehension, fluency and changes in attitude and behavior as seen by the student, parent and teacher. Lessons and tasks within each unit frequently involve concepts from more than one strand and actively explore their interconnections and relationships. For example, each lesson presented within aThematic Series is a logical extension of the lessons that preceded it. Students are taught one paragraph at a time. Students learn the first unit on the first day, review the first unit on the second day before being introduced to the new unit for that day. On the third day, the instructor reviews days one and two before introducing the new material for day three. This process repeats until the students have mastered the entire theme. This abundant repetition in a logical and meaning based environment is what sets FFR material apart. Every single task includes teacher guided questions designed to produce deductive and inductive thinking strategies . Students are also actively engage in higher-order thinking activities to promote knowledge and growth in areas such as vocabulary and syntax. Finally, FFR is taught by certified and non-certified instructors in regular classrooms, extended day programs, pull-out situations, and lab settings. For additional information, visit www.failurefreeonline.com, or contact the program author Dr. Joseph Lockavitch at Failure Free Reading. 1-800-542-2170.

Target Grades:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
Target Populations:
  • Students with disabilities only
  • Students with learning disabilities
  • Students with intellectual disabilities
  • Students with emotional or behavioral disabilities
  • English language learners
  • Any student at risk for academic failure
  • Other: students scoring 0-15% on standardized reading tests
Area(s) of Focus:
  • Comprehension
  • Fluency
  • Vocabulary
  • Spelling
Where to Obtain:
Failure Free Reading
Initial Cost:
$3,000.00 per subscription to digital library
Replacement Cost:
$100.00 per seat per year

The Failure Free Reading Elementary, Secondary and Life Solution (Tier lll) programs each consist of a $3,000 site-level curriculum library (containing all teacher and student print materials, all of which are non-consumable), a 4% shipping & handling fee (on just print materials), plus either online software @ $100 per twelve month subscription seat, or the standalone/network edition of the same software @ $300 per thirty six month licensed seat. Product training is available either half-day onsite ($900) or 3 hour webcast ($300). Note: for sites with more than 2 or 3 teachers using the program, additional Teacher Manuals and student materials may be needed for implementation. For sites with several students, the programs described above are also available in the Rapid Response to Reading Intervention (Tier lll) edition @ $300 per student which includes a 12 month online only software seat, with all teacher and student materials made available in blackline master CD-ROM format only. The Rapid Response to Reading Intervention (Tier ll) is a 20 hour online software only offering designed to identify students for whom Failure Free’s intensive language development approach to intervention is appropriate, and indicated.

Staff Qualified to Administer Include:
  • Special Education Teacher
  • General Education Teacher
  • Reading Specialist
  • Math Specialist
  • EL Specialist
  • Interventionist
  • Student Support Services Personnel (e.g., counselor, social worker, school psychologist, etc.)
  • Paraprofessional
  • Other:
Training Requirements:
1-4 hours of training

Training is onsite, and hands-on. Each participant is required to have access to a computer (with the software installed, or available via an Internet connection), and the print materials must be onsite. The training involves each participant going completely through the placement process, and an entire instructional cycle (scripted teacher lesson, talking software, print activities) plus reporting, grouping and classroom management.


They were developed over time based on interaction with educators using the program.

Access to Technical Support:
Free and for-charge webinars and in person presentations by the program author are available upon request. CEU credits can be made available.
Recommended Administration Formats Include:
  • Individual students
  • Small group of students
Minimum Number of Minutes Per Session:
45
Minimum Number of Sessions Per Week:
5
Minimum Number of Weeks:
4
Detailed Implementation Manual or Instructions Available:
Yes
Is Technology Required?
  • Computer or tablet
  • Internet connection

Program Information

Descriptive Information

Please provide a description of program, including intended use:

Failure Free Reading (FFR) is a research based, scientifically validated diagnostic/prescriptive reading intervention documented in numerous quality design research studies to improve reading outcomes for students who have not responded to regular and/or remedial reading instruction. The program’s unique combination of scaffolds enable the lowest level readers to immediately experience success with age- and grade level- appropriate passages regardless of current reading ability. FFR’s approach has consistently been shown to rapidly build comprehension, vocabulary and fluency, along with efficacy, confidence and esteem. Multi-sensory, and based on intensive language development, the print-based FFR methodology was developed in the late 1980’s by program author Dr. Joseph Lockavitch for special education and at-risk students, along with other “treatment resisters” (including those with language and/or audio phonological deficits). The software component was added in the 1990s. Over the years, numerous studies involving FFR as treatment (including 8 published studies) reported rapid and significant gains in comprehension and other measures. For example, two of the published studies reported a more than 40% reduction in the numbers of students who, post treatment, would have no longer qualified for special education services based on IQ-Achievement discrepancies. Unfortunately, neither of those studies incorporated control groups so they are not being submitted as part of this response. However, in part because of FFR’s documented evidence in reducing the number of students unnecessarily placed in special education, the publisher believes FFR is an appropriate Response to Intervention (RtI) program for Tier ll and Tier lll level students performing in the bottom 15 percent (below Basic) on standardized reading tests. FFR can rapidly move Level 1 English Language Learners (ELLs), learning disabled, cognitively challenged, at-risk, and treatment resisters up the proficiency scale, to levels 2 & 3, so that they can participate in and benefit from core and remedial instruction. In support, the What Works the National Reading Research Clearing House (WWC) reported an improvement index average of 10 percentile points (Power4Kids, 2006 – one of the studies submitted as part of this response) for comprehension measures and concludes that the average effect size across the two comprehension outcomes was “large enough to be considered substantively important,” though it was not statistically significant (note: Power4Kids focused on striving readers and not the typical group of bottom 15% performing students that FFR targets). In the interest of “collecting more evidence on the program’s effects” (see attached Narrative document in PDF format), MDRC of NYC applied for an Institute of Education Sciences (IES) grant in June 2009 to fund a two year national validation randomized trial study (goal 3 reading topic) to involve a total sample of approximately 1,200 grades 3,4, & 5 students in 25 schools. The authors of Power4Kids (Torgesen et al., 2007) later reported the following outcomes in their one year follow up evaluation (note: Note: for students in the third-grade cohort, FFR (the only word level plus comprehension program) had an impact on one measure of phonemic decoding, two of the three measures of word reading accuracy and fluency, and one measure of comprehension: • Alphabetics: FFR had a statistically significant effect on one measure of phonemic decoding and one measure of word reading accuracy. The average effect size across the Word Attack was statistically significant and large enough one year later to be considered substantively important according to the WWC criteria (that is, an effect size of .33). In addition, the authors found statistically significant and large effect sizes to occur with a significant number of their 3rd grade subgroups: Students with High Baseline Word Attack Scores, Students with Low Vocabulary, and Students Eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch (effect sizes of : .62, .46 and.45 respectively). The average effect size for the Test of Word Reading Efficiency (TOWRE) for Students Eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch was statistically significant and/or large enough one year later to be considered substantively important according to the WWC criteria (that is, an effect size of .24). • Fluency. One outcome in this domain (the Oral Reading Fluency test) was reported and the authors reported a statistically significant effect for FFR. While the overall average effect size of .20 was not large enough to be considered substantively important according to WCC criteria, the authors reported that FFR did have a statistically significant effect and/or large enough effective size to be considered substantively important for two 3rd grade cohorts: those with High Baseline Word Attack Scores, and those with Low Vocabulary (effect size of .25 and .27 respectively). • Comprehension. Two outcomes were reported for this domain (WRMT–R: Passage Comprehension subtest and Group Reading Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation (GRADE): Passage Comprehension subtest) and again reported statistically significant effects similar to those found in the first year of the initial year report (Torgesen et al., 2006). FFR did have a statistically significant effect and/or large enough effective size in the Passage Comprehension subtest to be statistically significant and/or considered substantively important for five 3rd grade cohorts: High Baseline Word Attack, High Vocabulary, Low Baseline Word Attack with High Vocabulary, High Baseline Word Attack with High Vocabulary and Students Not Eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch (effect sizes of: .40, .36, .26, .50,and .51 respectively). The authors also reported that Failure Free Reading did have a statistically significant effect and/or large enough effective size in the Group Reading Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation (GRADE) subtest to be statistically significant and/or considered substantively important for four 3rd grade cohorts: High Baseline Word Attack, Low Baseline Word Attack with High Vocabulary, Low Baseline Word Attack with High Vocabulary and Students Eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch (effect sizes of: .35, .42, .53, and .37 respectively). Unlike most other commercial reading interventions, FFR combines word level instruction with reading comprehension/vocabulary instruction. The program does not incorporate phonics or phonemic decoding instruction, attempt to remediate deficits, or “teach skills to mastery”. Instead, FFR’s unique non-phonic methodology compensates for the environmental, language and audio-phonological deficits that prevent so many students from reading age-level texts with fluency and comprehension success, and developing grade level vocabularies. FFR is less concerned with etiology (why a student is a “non-reader”) and more what the utilization of effective instructional strategies found to impact non-readers, such as the use of multiple exposures within multiple contexts (McCormick,1994). Students who are engaged in highly sequenced cumulative learning opportunities presented to them in a consistent multi-contextual format show significant growth. The program employs multiple exposures within multiple contexts through the use of teacher-guided language/literacy lessons, talking software and pencil & paper reinforcement activities. Included in the program are thematic Lexile-based reading Illustrated Booklets, Instructional Readers, flashcards and take home parent communication reports. The lessons in the FFR Elementary, Secondary and Life Skills Solutions – and Rapid Response to Reading Intervention offerings – are all based on the same highly structured pedagogy. Each lesson takes 45-60 minutes to deliver, and is taught in a one-to-one or small group format. Each day, the instruction begins with scripted direct teacher-led lesson that involves five steps: previewing material, listening to the instructor read, answering factual, inferential, and leading questions, reading the material, and reviewing the material. Following the teacher-led lesson, students complete a talking software session, and then pencil & paper activities, both of which are designed to extend and reinforce the teacher lesson. FFR materials are highly controlled semantically and syntactically, and provide students with sufficient repetition regardless of individual need. All content is age and developmentally appropriate content. Students rapidly acquire Dolch words and EDL Core Vocabulary in the context of simple stories they can access and relate to. The methodology is designed to immediately enable students to experience success, maximal time on task, and a sense of challenge. As a result, even secondary age “non-readers” become capable of rapidly building self-efficacy and esteem, and experiencing success and independent engagement. FFR presents these age appropriate materials within a multi-sensory format using practices based on direct instruction, scaffolding, repeated readings and meta-cognitive strategies. More importantly, Failure Free Reading has created instructional materials which incorporate the principles of cumulative learning (McCormick, 1994), and stress the therapeutic necessity of (1.) repetition within multiple instructional contexts (Gates, 1930, Hargis et. al., 1992, McCormick, 1994), (2.) control for syntax and semantics (Harper, 1979, Wigg and Semel,1980), and (3.) providing immediate performance feedback. Key to the efficacy of FFR is its instructional integration, cognitive chunking and multiple exposures within multiple contexts. Assessment is on-going and utilizes Lexile-based diagnostic prescriptive software, paper and pencil criterion referenced CBM tests measuring discrete growth in: word recognition, comprehension, fluency and changes in attitude and behavior as seen by the student, parent and teacher. Lessons and tasks within each unit frequently involve concepts from more than one strand and actively explore their interconnections and relationships. For example, each lesson presented within aThematic Series is a logical extension of the lessons that preceded it. Students are taught one paragraph at a time. Students learn the first unit on the first day, review the first unit on the second day before being introduced to the new unit for that day. On the third day, the instructor reviews days one and two before introducing the new material for day three. This process repeats until the students have mastered the entire theme. This abundant repetition in a logical and meaning based environment is what sets FFR material apart. Every single task includes teacher guided questions designed to produce deductive and inductive thinking strategies . Students are also actively engage in higher-order thinking activities to promote knowledge and growth in areas such as vocabulary and syntax. Finally, FFR is taught by certified and non-certified instructors in regular classrooms, extended day programs, pull-out situations, and lab settings. For additional information, visit www.failurefreeonline.com, or contact the program author Dr. Joseph Lockavitch at Failure Free Reading. 1-800-542-2170.

The program is intended for use in the following age(s) and/or grade(s).

not selected Age 0-3
not selected Age 3-5
not selected Kindergarten
selected First grade
selected Second grade
selected Third grade
selected Fourth grade
selected Fifth grade
selected Sixth grade
selected Seventh grade
selected Eighth grade
selected Ninth grade
selected Tenth grade
selected Eleventh grade
selected Twelth grade


The program is intended for use with the following groups.

selected Students with disabilities only
selected Students with learning disabilities
selected Students with intellectual disabilities
selected Students with emotional or behavioral disabilities
selected English language learners
selected Any student at risk for academic failure
not selected Any student at risk for emotional and/or behavioral difficulties
selected Other
If other, please describe:
students scoring 0-15% on standardized reading tests

ACADEMIC INTERVENTION: Please indicate the academic area of focus.

Early Literacy

not selected Print knowledge/awareness
not selected Alphabet knowledge
not selected Phonological awareness
not selected Phonological awarenessEarly writing
not selected Early decoding abilities
not selected Other

If other, please describe:

Language

not selected Expressive and receptive vocabulary
not selected Grammar
not selected Syntax
not selected Listening comprehension
not selected Other
If other, please describe:

Reading

not selected Phonological awareness
not selected Phonics/word study
selected Comprehension
selected Fluency
selected Vocabulary
selected Spelling
not selected Other
If other, please describe:

Mathematics

not selected Computation
not selected Concepts and/or word problems
not selected Whole number arithmetic
not selected Comprehensive: Includes computation/procedures, problem solving, and mathematical concepts
not selected Algebra
not selected Fractions, decimals (rational number)
not selected Geometry and measurement
not selected Other
If other, please describe:

Writing

not selected Handwriting
not selected Spelling
not selected Sentence construction
not selected Planning and revising
not selected Other
If other, please describe:

BEHAVIORAL INTERVENTION: Please indicate the behavior area of focus.

Externalizing Behavior

not selected Physical Aggression
not selected Verbal Threats
not selected Property Destruction
not selected Noncompliance
not selected High Levels of Disengagement
not selected Disruptive Behavior
not selected Social Behavior (e.g., Peer interactions, Adult interactions)
not selected Other
If other, please describe:

Internalizing Behavior

not selected Depression
not selected Anxiety
not selected Social Difficulties (e.g., withdrawal)
not selected School Phobia
not selected Other
If other, please describe:

Acquisition and cost information

Where to obtain:

Address
Phone Number
Website

Initial cost for implementing program:

Cost
$3000.00
Unit of cost
subscription to digital library

Replacement cost per unit for subsequent use:

Cost
$100.00
Unit of cost
seat
Duration of license
year

Additional cost information:

Describe basic pricing plan and structure of the program. Also, provide information on what is included in the published program, as well as what is not included but required for implementation (e.g., computer and/or internet access)

The Failure Free Reading Elementary, Secondary and Life Solution (Tier lll) programs each consist of a $3,000 site-level curriculum library (containing all teacher and student print materials, all of which are non-consumable), a 4% shipping & handling fee (on just print materials), plus either online software @ $100 per twelve month subscription seat, or the standalone/network edition of the same software @ $300 per thirty six month licensed seat. Product training is available either half-day onsite ($900) or 3 hour webcast ($300). Note: for sites with more than 2 or 3 teachers using the program, additional Teacher Manuals and student materials may be needed for implementation. For sites with several students, the programs described above are also available in the Rapid Response to Reading Intervention (Tier lll) edition @ $300 per student which includes a 12 month online only software seat, with all teacher and student materials made available in blackline master CD-ROM format only. The Rapid Response to Reading Intervention (Tier ll) is a 20 hour online software only offering designed to identify students for whom Failure Free’s intensive language development approach to intervention is appropriate, and indicated.

Program Specifications

Setting for which the program is designed.

selected Individual students
selected Small group of students
not selected BI ONLY: A classroom of students

If group-delivered, how many students compose a small group?

   2-6

Program administration time

Minimum number of minutes per session
45
Minimum number of sessions per week
5
Minimum number of weeks
4
not selected N/A (implemented until effective)

If intervention program is intended to occur over less frequently than 60 minutes a week for approximately 8 weeks, justify the level of intensity:

Does the program include highly specified teacher manuals or step by step instructions for implementation?
Yes

BEHAVIORAL INTERVENTION: Is the program affiliated with a broad school- or class-wide management program?

If yes, please identify and describe the broader school- or class-wide management program:

Does the program require technology?
Yes

If yes, what technology is required to implement your program?
selected Computer or tablet
selected Internet connection
not selected Other technology (please specify)

If your program requires additional technology not listed above, please describe the required technology and the extent to which it is combined with teacher small-group instruction/intervention:
Online software requires Internet-enabled computer with MAC OS8 or newer, or PC Windows XP or newer; Flash; audio card and speakers. Optional standalone/network edition of same software requires same hardware but no Internet connection.

Training

How many people are needed to implement the program ?

Is training for the instructor or interventionist required?
Yes
If yes, is the necessary training free or at-cost?
At-cost

Describe the time required for instructor or interventionist training:
1-4 hours of training

Describe the format and content of the instructor or interventionist training:
Training is onsite, and hands-on. Each participant is required to have access to a computer (with the software installed, or available via an Internet connection), and the print materials must be onsite. The training involves each participant going completely through the placement process, and an entire instructional cycle (scripted teacher lesson, talking software, print activities) plus reporting, grouping and classroom management.

What types or professionals are qualified to administer your program?

selected Special Education Teacher
selected General Education Teacher
selected Reading Specialist
selected Math Specialist
selected EL Specialist
selected Interventionist
selected Student Support Services Personnel (e.g., counselor, social worker, school psychologist, etc.)
not selected Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapist or Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA)
selected Paraprofessional
not selected Other

If other, please describe:

Does the program assume that the instructor or interventionist has expertise in a given area?
No   

If yes, please describe: 


Are training manuals and materials available?
Yes

Describe how the training manuals or materials were field-tested with the target population of instructors or interventionist and students:
They were developed over time based on interaction with educators using the program.

Do you provide fidelity of implementation guidance such as a checklist for implementation in your manual?

Can practitioners obtain ongoing professional and technical support?
Yes

If yes, please specify where/how practitioners can obtain support:

Free and for-charge webinars and in person presentations by the program author are available upon request. CEU credits can be made available.

Summary of Evidence Base

Please identify, to the best of your knowledge, all the research studies that have been conducted to date supporting the efficacy of your program, including studies currently or previously submitted to NCII for review. Please provide citations only (in APA format); do not include any descriptive information on these studies. NCII staff will also conduct a search to confirm that the list you provide is accurate.

Study Information

Study Citations

Torgesen, J., Myers, D., Schirm, A., Stuart, E., Vartivarian, S., Mansfield, W., Stancavage, F., Durno, D., Javorsky, R. & Haan, C. (2007). National Assessment of Title I Final Report Volume II: Closing the Reading Gap: Findings from a Randomized Trial of Four Reading Interventions for Striving Readers. Institute of Education Sciences.

Participants Full Bobble

Describe how students were selected to participate in the study:
Within each of 50 schools, 3rd and 5th grade students were identified as struggling readers by their teachers.

Describe how students were identified as being at risk for academic failure (AI) or as having emotional or behavioral difficulties (BI):
The students identified by their teachers as struggling readers were tested and were eligible for the study if they scored at or below the 30th percentile on the combination of the Sight Word Efficiency (SWE) and phonological decoding subtests of the Test of Word Reading Efficiency (TOWRE), and at or above the 5th percentile on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT).

ACADEMIC INTERVENTION: What percentage of participants were at risk, as measured by one or more of the following criteria:
  • below the 30th percentile on local or national norm, or
  • identified disability related to the focus of the intervention?
%

BEHAVIORAL INTERVENTION: What percentage of participants were at risk, as measured by one or more of the following criteria:
  • emotional disability label,
  • placed in an alternative school/classroom,
  • non-responsive to Tiers 1 and 2, or
  • designation of severe problem behaviors on a validated scale or through observation?
%

Specify which condition is the submitted intervention:
Failure Free Reading

Specify which condition is the control condition:
Control group students received their school’s normal classroom and individual instruction. Competing interventions were: Corrective Reading, SpellRead P.A.T., and Wilson Reading.

If you have a third, competing condition, in addition to your control and intervention condition, identify what the competing condition is (data from this competing condition will not be used):

Using the tables that follow, provide data demonstrating comparability of the program group and control group in terms of demographics.

Grade Level

Demographic Program
Number
Control
Number
Effect Size: Cox Index
for Binary Differences
Age less than 1
Age 1
Age 2
Age 3
Age 4
Age 5
Kindergarten
Grade 1
Grade 2
Grade 3 55 38 0.25
Grade 4
Grade 5 61 65 0.25
Grade 6
Grade 7
Grade 8
Grade 9
Grade 10
Grade 11
Grade 12

Race–Ethnicity

Demographic Program
Number
Control
Number
Effect Size: Cox Index
for Binary Differences
African American 26 18 0.19
American Indian
Asian/Pacific Islander
Hispanic
White 90 85 0.19
Other

Socioeconomic Status

Demographic Program
Number
Control
Number
Effect Size: Cox Index
for Binary Differences
Subsidized Lunch 51 48 0.07
No Subsidized Lunch 65 55 0.07

Disability Status

Demographic Program
Number
Control
Number
Effect Size: Cox Index
for Binary Differences
Speech-Language Impairments
Learning Disabilities
Behavior Disorders
Emotional Disturbance
Intellectual Disabilities
Other
Not Identified With a Disability

ELL Status

Demographic Program
Number
Control
Number
Effect Size: Cox Index
for Binary Differences
English Language Learner
Not English Language Learner

Gender

Demographic Program
Number
Control
Number
Effect Size: Cox Index
for Binary Differences
Female 61 55 0.00
Male 55 48 0.00

Mean Effect Size

0.13

For any substantively (e.g., effect size ≥ 0.25 for pretest or demographic differences) or statistically significant (e.g., p < 0.05) pretest differences between groups in the descriptions below, please describe the extent to which these differences are related to the impact of the treatment. For example, if analyses were conducted to determine that outcomes from this study are due to the intervention and not demographic characteristics, please describe the results of those analyses here.

Design Half Bobble

What method was used to determine students' placement in treatment/control groups?
Random
Please describe the assignment method or the process for defining treatment/comparison groups.
We implemented the intervention in the Allegheny Intermediate Unit (AIU), located just outside Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The AIU consists of 42 school districts and about 125 elementary schools. Not all schools that agreed to participate in the study had sufficient numbers of eligible third- and fifth-grade students, and some schools had only third or fifth grade, not both. Thus, we partnered some schools to form “school units” such that each school unit would have two third-grade and two fifth-grade instructional groups consisting of three students per instructional group. From a pool of 52 schools, we formed 32 school units, and randomly assigned the 32 school units to the four interventions, within four strata defined by the percentage of students eligible for free or reduced-price school lunch. One school unit (consisting of two schools) dropped out of the study after randomization, but before it learned of its random assignment, leaving 31 school units and 50 schools in the study

What was the unit of assignment?
Other
If other, please specify:
Schools, Teachers, Students

Please describe the unit of assignment:

What unit(s) were used for primary data analysis?
selected Schools
selected Teachers
selected Students
not selected Classes
not selected Other
If other, please specify:

Please describe the unit(s) used for primary data analysis:

Fidelity of Implementation Full Bobble

How was the program delivered?
not selected Individually
selected Small Group
not selected Classroom

If small group, answer the following:

Average group size
3
Minimum group size
3
Maximum group size
3

What was the duration of the intervention (If duration differed across participants, settings, or behaviors, describe for each.)?

Weeks
18.00
Sessions per week
5.00
Duration of sessions in minutes
60.00
What were the background, experience, training, and ongoing support of the instructors or interventionists?
The teachers were randomly selected from volunteers at each school. They received approximately 70 hours of professional development and support during the year.

Describe when and how fidelity of treatment information was obtained.
Trainers rated teachers twice: in the fall (at the end of the practice period) and in the spring (near the end of the intervention period). The trainers provided ratings on eight dimensions of the teacher’s delivery of the program. The first five dimensions specifically address intervention fidelity while the remainder deal with general teacher quality.

What were the results on the fidelity-of-treatment implementation measure?
The below summarizes the ratings on eight dimensions of program delivery. The ratings used a sevenpoint scale ranging from 1 = unsatisfactory performance through 3 = satisfactory performance to 7 = expert performance. The average ratings on all eight dimensions in both fall and spring generally ranged from about 4.0 to 6.8—well above the satisfactory (3) level.

Was the fidelity measure also used in control classrooms?

Measures and Results

Measures Targeted : Full Bobble
Measures Broader : Full Bobble

Study measures are classified as targeted, broader, or administrative data according to the following definitions:

  • Targeted measures
    Assess outcomes, such as competencies or skills that the program was directly targeted to improve.
    • In the academic domain, targeted measures typically are not the very items taught but rather novel items structured similarly to the content addressed in the program. For example, if a program taught word-attack skills, a targeted measure would be decoding of pseudo words. If a program taught comprehension of cause-effect passages, a targeted measure would be answering questions about cause-effect passages structured similarly to those used during intervention, but not including the very passages used for intervention.
    • In the behavioral domain, targeted measures evaluate aspects of external or internal behavior the program was directly targeted to improve and are operationally defined.
  • Broader measures
    Assess outcomes that are related to the competencies or skills targeted by the program but not directly taught in the program.
    • In the academic domain, if a program taught word-level reading skill, a broader measure would be answering questions about passages the student reads. If a program taught calculation skill, a broader measure would be solving word problems that require the same kinds of calculation skill taught in the program.
    • In the behavioral domain, if a program taught a specific skill like on-task behavior in one classroom, a broader measure would be academic performance in that setting or on-task behavior in another setting.
  • Administrative data measures apply only to behavioral intervention tools and are measures such as office discipline referrals (ODRs) and graduation rates which do not have psychometric properties as do other, more traditional targeted or broader measures.

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What populations are you submitting outcome data for?
selected Full sample
not selected Students at or below the 20th percentile
not selected English language learners
not selected Racial/ethnic subgroups
not selected Economically disadvantaged students (low socioeconomic status)
Targeted Measure Reverse Coded? Reliability Relevance Exposure
Broader Measure Reverse Coded? Reliability Relevance Exposure
Administrative Data Measure Reverse Coded? Relevance

Posttest Data

Targeted Measures (Full Sample)

Measure Sample Type Effect Size P

Broader Measures (Full Sample)

Measure Sample Type Effect Size P

Administrative Measures (Full Sample)

Measure Sample Type Effect Size P

Targeted Measures (Subgroups)

Measure Sample Type Effect Size P

Broader Measures (Subgroups)

Measure Sample Type Effect Size P

Administrative Measures (Subgroups)

Measure Sample Type Effect Size P
For any substantively (e.g., effect size ≥ 0.25 for pretest or demographic differences) or statistically significant (e.g., p < 0.05) pretest differences, please describe the extent to which these differences are related to the impact of the treatment. For example, if analyses were conducted to determine that outcomes from this study are due to the intervention and not pretest characteristics, please describe the results of those analyses here.
Please explain any missing data or instances of measures with incomplete pre- or post-test data.
If you have excluded a variable or data that are reported in the study being submitted, explain the rationale for exclusion:
Describe the analyses used to determine whether the intervention produced changes in student outcomes:
The authors used a randomized blocks experimental design with random assignment carried out at two levels (32 school units randomly assigned to the four interventions within blocking strata determined by the percentage of students eligible for free or reduced-price school lunch; and within schools, eligible 3rd and 5th grade students to treatment or control). The main objective of was to estimate the impacts of the four interventions on students’ reading skills, specifically, the impacts of the four interventions combined, the three word level interventions combined, and each of the four individual interventions for not only all third-grade and all fifth-grade students eligible for the interventions, but also several key subgroups of students. For a detailed presentation of the findings, and description of the estimation methods (with technical and contextual issue) see Chapter lV pages 53-68.

Additional Research

Is the program reviewed by WWC or E-ESSA?
WWC & E-ESSA
Summary of WWC / E-ESSA Findings :

What Works Clearinghouse Review

Beginning Reading Protocol

Effectiveness: Failure Free Reading was found to have no discernible effects on alphabetics and fluency, and potentially positive effects on comprehension.

Studies Reviewed: 1 study meets standards out of 1 study total

Full Report

 

Evidence for ESSA

Qualifying studies found no significant positive outcomes for Elementary reading. No studies met inclusion requirements for Secondary reading. 

How many additional research studies are potentially eligible for NCII review?
0
Citations for Additional Research Studies :

Disclaimer

Most tools and programs evaluated by the NCII are branded products which have been submitted by the companies, organizations, or individuals that disseminate these products. These entities supply the textual information shown above, but not the ratings accompanying the text. NCII administrators and members of our Technical Review Committees have reviewed the content on this page, but NCII cannot guarantee that this information is free from error or reflective of recent changes to the product. Tools and programs have the opportunity to be updated annually or upon request.