Welcome to Parsimony’s blog, where we help K-12 educators identify evidence based ways to maximize student outcomes.

This blog post is part of our What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) summary series, where we provide a very short summary of WWC’s review of the evidence for the impact of a particular educational program, product, practice, or policy on student outcomes. The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) is an initiative by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) which is the independent statistics, research, and evaluation arm of the United States Department of Education. WWC estimates the effectiveness of programs by evaluating the quality and quantity of evidence for that program.

This week’s blog post is about the evidence behind Literacy Express’s impact on students. Here’s the short version:

Literacy Express is a curriculum for preschoolers. It can be used in half or full day programs and it contains units on oral language, emergent literacy, basic match, science, general knowledge, and socioemotional development.

The evidence reviewed by WWC for Literacy Express covers students in pre-kindergarten.

The outcomes examined include: cognition, general math achievement, oral language, phonological processing, and print knowledge. Here’s what the evidence suggests about Literacy Express’s impact on each outcome:

  • Cognition: No detectable impact
  • General math achievement: No detectable impact
  • Oral language: Positive impact (an average student would be expected to improve by 12 percentile points)
  • Phonological processing: Positive impact (an average student would be expected to improve by 12 percentile points)
  • Print knowledge: Positive impact (an average student would be expected to improve by 15 percentile points)

The studies looking into Literacy Express had student samples that were in urban areas in Florida and California, had students who were White, Black, and Hispanic, male and female, and were English language learners, and received free & reduced price lunch.

You can find the full report from the What Works Clearinghouse here: [https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/Docs/InterventionReports/wwc_lit_express_072710.pdf]

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