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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?

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One

    Introduction

  • Chapter Two

    Background on Coaching and Florida's Program

  • Chapter Three

    Research Questions, Framework, and Methods

  • Chapter Four

    Implementation of Florida's Coaching Program: District and School Policies

  • Chapter Five

    Implementation of Florida's Coaching Program: The Day-to-Day Work of Coaches

  • Chapter Six

    Perceived Influence of the Coach on Teachers, Principals, School Climate, and Students

  • Chapter Seven

    The Impact of Coaching on Student Achievement

  • Chapter Eight

    Conclusions and Recommendations

  • Appendix A

    2006–2007 Florida Reading Coach Position Description

  • Appendix B

    Data and Modeling in the Statewide Achievement Analysis

  • Appendix C

    Modeling the Coaching Implementation–Student Achievement Link

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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