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The Achievement Effects of Scaling Early Literacy Reforms

While policymakers have demonstrated considerable enthusiasm for “science of reading” initiatives, the evidence on the impact of related reforms when implemented at scale is limited. In this pre-registered, quasi-experimental study, we examine California’s recent initiative to improve early literacy across the state’s lowest-performing elementary schools. The Early Literacy Support Block Grant (ELSBG) provided teacher professional development grounded in the science of reading as well as aligned supports (e.g., assessments and interventions), new funding (about $1000 per student), spending flexibility within specified guidelines, and expert facilitation and oversight of school-based planning. We find that ELSBG generated significant (and cost-effective) improvements in ELA achievement in its first two years of implementation (0.14 SD) as well as smaller, spillover improvements in math achievement.

Achievement, early literacy, targeting, support, implementation, oversight, flexibility, funding, science of reading, curriculum, pedagogy
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EdWorkingPaper suggested citation:

Novicoff, Sarah, and Thomas S. Dee. (). The Achievement Effects of Scaling Early Literacy Reforms. (EdWorkingPaper: 23-887). Retrieved from Annenberg Institute at Brown University:

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