Learning outcomes of the Reading to Learn strategies have been independently evaluated for over ten years. In 2001, the Australian government’s What Works program for Indigenous education reported that in one year, “the average improvement in reading and writing was 2.5 Profile levels”. As each English Profile level equalled a year and a half’s growth, this improvement rate was equivalent to almost four year’s growth in one year.
In 2006, the Catholic Education Office Melbourne reported similar results, measured against the Victorian Curriculum and Standards Framework (CSF), “that average literacy gains across all schools and classes, and among students from all backgrounds and ability ranges, was consistently more than a CSF level in improvement within approximately three school terms, or approximately double the expected rate of literacy development. Furthermore, 20% of students made gains of two or more CSF levels, or four times the expected rate of literacy development.”
Two key aspects of these results are that all students are accelerating their growth well above average learning rates, including the top students in any class, but that less successful students are accelerating much faster. No other program we know of closes the gap between top and bottom students so rapidly, at the same time as it accelerates the learning of all students.