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SIM Reading Programs Added to Institue of Education Sciences' What Works Clearinghouse (Nov 2015)

A new report adds two Strategic Instruction Model™ programs to an influential national database of education interventions that have been proven effective in the classroom.

The report found that Xtreme Reading and SIM’s Learning Strategies Curriculum, separately, have shown evidence of—in the parlance of the Institute of Education Sciences’ What Works Clearinghouse—“potentially positive effects” on reading achievement for struggling adolescent readers. The WWC rating means at least one study of each program reported statistically significant positive effects.

In both cases, the level of evidence met criteria to allow the programs to be included in the What Works Clearinghouse, a first for both interventions. Inclusion in the WWC is important: Educators who adopt interventions listed in the database are assured that the programs are effective and are supported by high-quality research.

The report, Summary of Research Generated by Striving Readers on the Effectiveness of Interventions for Struggling Adolescent Readers, was prepared for the IES’s National Center for Educational Evaluation and Regional Assistance. It reviewed studies of interventions tested during the Striving Readers initiative. Striving Readers grants were awarded in 2006 and 2009.

In regard to SIM programs, the authors found that two studies—one of Xtreme Reading and one of the SIM Learning Strategies Curriculum—reported statistically significant positive effects. A second study of Xtreme Reading reported effects that were not large enough to be considered significant under WWC criteria.

In considering the implications of the report, its authors wrote: “This body of evidence substantially increases the amount of credible information available to district administrators trying to decide how to best meet the needs of struggling adolescent readers.”

Read the full report here, including background on the Striving Readers initiative, the review process, and conclusions for all Striving Readers interventions.