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Reading Mastery and Learning Disabled Students: A Comment on the What Works Clearinghouse Review

Stockard, J.; Wood, T. W.
In response to a recent report published by the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) on the effectiveness of the Direct Instruction program Reading Mastery with students with learning disabilities, Stockard and Wood analyzed the report and highlighted the serious errors in the WWC’s conclusions. The WWC examined two studies and concluded that Reading Mastery had “no discernible effects on reading comprehension and potentially negative effects on alphabetics, reading fluency, and writing.” Their conclusion is in stark contrast to dozens of studies of Reading Mastery and other elements of the Direct Instruction corpus of material, which consistently found strong positive effects of the programs on academic achievement for students of all ability levels. Stockard and Wood thoroughly examined the WWC report and the research articles used to develop its findings and found very serious problems with its conclusions. These problems are documented and explained in detail. This report also discusses the WWC procedures for their reports and the issues that result from them. Additionally an annotated list of relevant studies not reviewed by the WWC is included to demonstrate the weakness of the WWC conclusions and provide further evidence on the effectiveness of Direct Instruction and Reading Mastery.(Copyright © 2011, National Institute for Direct Instruction (NIFDI). All rights reserved).
Research areas:
Main publication type:
DI Overview & Background
Technical Report
What Works Clearinghouse; Direct Instruction; Reading Mastery; students with learning disabilities; Reading Mastery Fast Cycle; Horizons Fast Track A-B; reading comprehension; alphabetics; reading fluency; Hrzns
National Institute for Direct Instruction
Type of Publication:
Technical Report
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