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Closing the Performance Gap: The Gering Story

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Gering Public Schools, a small district in northeast Nebraska, used to suffer from an achievement gap in reading.  In 2004, 36 percent of all Hispanic students in second grade met fluency benchmarks compared to 59 percent of all white students in the district's three elementary schools.  Low literacy performance was also a problem at the district's sole junior high school.

That was before the district implemented the comprehensive Direct Instruction model with the support of the National Institute for Direct Instruction (NIFDI).  Now the achievement gap in reading has been closed.  Over three-fourths of all students meet second grade fluency benchmarks, with a higher percentage of Hispanic students meeting benchmarks than white students!  At the junior high school, the need for remedial reading programs has declined drastically as students are much more able to comprehend content area texts.

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Zig's Book: Teaching Needy Kids in Our Backward System

zigbookTeaching Needy Kids in Our Backward System documents the often-outrageous experiences of a man some consider the most important educator ever, Siegfried (Zig) Engelmann.

Through a tapestry of vignettes that start in the 60s and continue through 2006, Professor Engelmann describes the battles he has fought to provide effective instruction for at-risk kids, particularly children of poverty. The most incredible of Engelmann's battles occurred in Project Follow Through, the largest and most definitive educational experiment ever conducted, involving 180 communities and over 200,000 at-risk children in grades kindergarten through 3. To discover which approach was most effective, Follow Through installed and tested 22 models of teaching disadvantaged children, from 1968 to 1977.

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Research Database: All Research...All DI

NIFDI's new website features a searchable database of DI research articles. We think this is the most comprehensive library of DI research on the web. Take a look and see if you agree.

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