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Increasing the reading achievement of at-risk children through Direct Instruction: Evaluation of the Rodeo Institute for Teacher Excellence (RITE)

Carlson, C.; Francis, D.
This study evaluated the Rodeo Institute for Teacher Excellence (RITE) program, which addressed at-risk students’ failure to develop basic reading skills. The evaluation compared the scores of all K-2 students participating in the program to scores of students in comparison schools. The RITE program used the Direct Instruction reading program, Reading Mastery, to increase student reading achievement and place students at grade level or better. Additionally, the RITE program focused on strengthening instruction technique and skills of teachers, providing extensive training, support and monitoring. Student achievement from students in 20 RITE schools was compared to 20 similar schools, not participating in the RITE program (control group). The schools were matched on demographic characteristics (receipt of free or reduced lunch, ethnicity, and English language proficiency) and average achievement (meeting the state mandated reading performance requirements). Assessments varied over the years, with individual assessments (the Woodcock Reading Mastery Test) used only in the first year (for kindergarten students in fall and spring) and district-mandated assessments in later years: the teacher administered Texas Primary Reading Inventory (TPRI) in winter and spring (kindergarten), the Stanford Achievement Test Word Reading and Reading Comprehension scales (grades 1 and 2, word reading only for kindergarten), and the Texas Learning Index from the state assessment program (grade 3), for one year. Results indicated that the at-risk students who participated in the RITE program increased their reading skills at each grade level. Students with the most experience in the RITE program outperformed their peers with less program experience, those who began the program later, and those with no exposure (control group). Kindergarten students enrolled in the RITE program recorded significantly higher levels of phonemic awareness and word reading skills than the kindergarten students in the control group. Their performance not only exceeded the control group, but national norms as well according to the SAT9 Word Reading subtest. Students in the first and second grade recorded significantly greater gains than the comparison students in Word Reading and Reading Comprehension. Similar results were reported for third grade RITE students. The authors concluded that the more time students are enrolled in the RITE program, the more likely they are to meet or exceed the state-mandated reading skills requirement. Teachers who had been involved in the RITE program for more than two years displayed fewer problematic skills than teachers with less experience. Additionally, interventions with teachers were linked to improvement in observed teaching skills, specifically behavior management and teacher corrections. (Copyright © 2011, National Institute for Direct Instruction (NIFDI). All rights reserved).
Research areas:
Main publication type:
Program Effectiveness
Reading Mastery; Rodeo Institute for Teacher Excellence; RITE; reading
Journal of Education for Students Placed At Risk
Design type:
Pretest-Posttest Control Group Design with Statistical Adjustment and Posttest Only Control Group Design
Fidelity monitored:
Students included:
Kindergarten students, elementary students, at-risk students, African American students, Hispanic students
Other tags:
Reading Mastery, Rodeo Institute for Teacher Excellence (RITE), behavior management, Texas Primary Reading Inventory (TPRI), Stanford Achievement Test-Ninth Edition (SAT9), Woodcock Reading Mastery Test, Texas Learning Index, reading, language
South: West South Central
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