The U.S. Department of Education initiated the Enhanced Reading Opportunities (ERO) study — a demonstration and rigorous evaluation of supplemental literacy programs targeted to ninth grade students whose reading skills are at least two years below grade level. Overall, the findings from these reports show that over the course of ninth grade, the ERO programs improved students’ reading comprehension skills and helped them perform better academically in their high school course work. However, these benefits did not persist in the following school year, when students were no longer receiving the supports provided by the ERO programs.
The key findings from the study are the following:
- The ERO programs improved students’ reading comprehension skills over the course of ninth grade.
- During the ninth grade, the ERO programs also had a positive impact on students’ academic performance in core subject areas.
- However, in the school year following students’ participation in the ERO programs, the programs no longer had an impact on academic performance.
- The ERO programs did not increase students’ vocabulary scores, nor did the programs affect students’ reading behaviors or their school behaviors.
Somers, M. A., Corrin, W., Sepanik, S., Salinger, T., Levin, J., & Zmach, C. (2010). The enhanced reading opportunities study final report: The impact of supplemental literacy courses for struggling ninth-grade readers. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Education. https://ies.ed.gov/ncee/pubs/20104021/pdf/20104021.pdf