Cover: Supporting Literacy Across the Sunshine State

Supporting Literacy Across the Sunshine State

A Study of Florida Middle School Reading Coaches

Published Aug 14, 2008

by Julie A. Marsh, Jennifer Sloan McCombs, J. R. Lockwood, Paco Martorell, Daniel Gershwin, Scott Naftel, Vi-Nhuan Le, Molly Shea, Heather Barney, Al Crego

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Despite recent progress in reading achievement among children in primary grades, many children are not moving beyond basic decoding skills to fluency and comprehension as they go on to higher grades. To address this problem, many policymakers suggest that reading coaches — master teachers who offer ongoing on-site instructional support for teachers — can improve teachers' practice and students' literacy skills. RAND researchers evaluated the middle school reading coach program in Florida to answer these questions: How is the program being implemented by the state, districts, schools, and individual coaches? What is the impact of coaching on teachers' practice and students' achievement in reading and mathematics? What features of reading coach models and practices are associated with better outcomes?

The research described in this report was prepared for the Carnegie Corporation of New York and was conducted by RAND Education.

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