In recent years, major initiatives in the U. S. and U. K. have added greatly to the amount and quality of research on the effectiveness of secondary reading programs, especially targeted programs for struggling readers. This review of the experimental research on secondary reading programs focuses on 64 studies that used random assignment (n=55) or high-quality quasi-experiments (n=9) to evaluate outcomes of 49 programs on widely accepted measures of reading. Programs using one-to-one and small-group tutoring (ES=+0.23) and cooperative learning programs (mean ES=+0.16), showed positive outcomes, on average. Among technology programs, direct instruction, metacognitive approaches, mixed-model programs, and programs for English learners, there were individual examples of promising approaches. Except for tutoring, targeted extra-time programs were no more effective than programs provided to entire classes and schools without adding instructional time. The findings suggest that secondary readers benefit more from engaging and personalized instruction than from remedial services.
Baye, A., Lake, C., Inns, A. & Slavin, R. E. (2016, December). Effective Reading Programs for Secondary Students. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University, Center for Research and Reform in Education.