ERIC Number: ED425250
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Success for All: A Summary of Evaluations. ERIC/CUE Digest Number 139.
Success for All (SFA), a schoolwide research-based reform model developed by Robert Slavin and his associates at Johns Hopkins University, is based on the premise that all students can and must succeed in the early grades. The program targets students in the lower grades, providing them with intensive instruction in language arts. This effort is accompanied by extensive professional development to help teachers succeed with every student and a family support program. Results from research conducted by the program's developers and external evaluators show the SFA program to be effective in enhancing the reading achievement of economically disadvantaged and nonnative English speaking students. This digest summarizes the findings from a number of SFA program evaluations and research projects. First implemented in the 1987-88 school year in five inner-city schools in Baltimore, SFA has expanded to more than 475 schools in 31 states. Its components include a systematic reading program, one-on-one tutoring by certified teachers, frequent assessments, professional development, and a family support team. The basic research design used to determine the effectiveness of SFA has been to match the SFA school with a control school that is similar in terms of poverty level, historical achievement level, ethnicity of students, and other factors. Several key findings have indicated differential effects. The evaluations show that early exposure to the program in prekindergarten and kindergarten can significantly and positively affect the reading achievement of disadvantaged and at-risk students and that, at any level, the greatest impact of SFA is on students in the lowest 25% of their class. It is less clear that SFA positively affects students at average or above average reading levels. Longitudinal studies have also indicated that SFA students do not retain their gains over non-SFA students in the middle grades. Effects also vary for students of limited English proficiency. Those enrolled in adapted SFA and the Spanish bilingual SFA programs appear to benefit, but the relative benefit for Spanish-speaking students for which English is a second language is less obvious. There is no question, however, that early intervention does significantly improve reading achievement and reduce special education referrals and placements. Research also indicates that high-implementation SFA schools have better results than schools that adopt only some SFA program components. As more and more schools adopt SFA, the questions now seem to be how best to implement the program for the greatest benefits for all children and how to sustain those benefits over the long term. (Contains 12 references.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Achievement Gains, Disadvantaged Youth, Educational Change, Educational Research, Elementary Education, Elementary School Students, Evaluation Methods, Limited English Speaking, Parent Participation, Professional Development, Program Evaluation, Reading Achievement, Special Education, Urban Schools, Urban Youth
ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education, Institute for Urban and Minority Education, Teachers College, Box 40, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027.
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Urban Education, New York, NY.