Design, Sites, and Data Sources
The full study involves a total of a 90 schools in six districts. Baltimore County; Dayton, Ohio; and Prince George's County, Maryland are using Houghton Mifflin’s Nation’s Choice/Legacy of Literacy. The three Open Court Reading districts are Baltimore City, Maryland; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Detroit, Michigan.
During the study’s first full implementation year, data were collected on the nature and costs of the professional development interventions; the district, school, and classroom contexts of second-grade reading instruction; and initial evidence of the impact of the interventions on participating teachers and their students. The last year of full implementation involved a second wave of data collection on teachers’ professional development experiences and classroom conditions and on teacher and student outcomes.
The project is tracking three main outcomes: teacher knowledge through surveys, teacher practice through classroom observations, and student achievement through data maintained by the districts. Other data collection efforts include observations of professional development sessions, surveys of school principals, and administration of a protocol to ascertain program costs.
The three-way random assignment design makes it possible to compare the outcomes of Model 1 with those of the usual professional development approach and to compare the outcomes of Model 2 with those of Model 1.