Reading Corps is Proven to Work
Reading Corps students make greater gains. An independent evaluation by leading social science researcher NORC at the University of Chicago shows elementary schools and preschool programs that implement Reading Corps get significantly greater outcomes for their students than programs that do not have access to Reading Corps. The study found that students of color, students eligible for free and reduced-price lunch, and English Language Learners are achieving outcomes equal to or better than their peers. Students with higher risk factors actually made stronger gains.
NORC also found that the model is effective in any setting – urban, suburban, and rural. Expert literacy coaching and training in data-based decision making ensure that tutors are successful regardless of their educational background.
Reading Corps is cost-effective. David Heistad and Robert Wedl conducted a matched sample analysis to better understand Reading Corps’ impact on Special Education referrals and potential cost savings. They found that at-risk students who were not enrolled in Reading Corps were referred to special education at three times the rate of Reading Corps participants (5.4% vs. 1.5%) by the end of one school year. It is estimated that in Minnesota alone, this diversion of children from special education results in a cost-savings to the educational system of $9 million per year.