CPRE : Consortium for Policy Research in Education

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Policy Brief

Evidence for Early Literacy Intervention: The Impacts of Reading Recovery

The CPRE/CRESP evaluation of Reading Recovery was one of the largest and most rigorous studies of an educational intervention ever conducted. It found treatment effects that are among the largest observed from an instructional program. The study therefore offers strong evidence of the impact of Reading Recovery on the reading skill of struggling 1st graders. In addition, it demonstrates the feasibility of effectively scaling up an intervention. 

The study also revealed that some schools' Reading Recovery programs are more effective than others, and that differences in teachers' instruction and in schools' embrace of the program may contribute to variation in school-level impacts. 

The complete final report from the i3 evaluation of Reading Recovery is available for download at


Abigail Gray, Heather Goldsworthy, Henry May, Philip Sirinides

Publication Date

April 2017