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Comprehensive Literacy Program Evaluation

Child reads under the covers using a flashlight.
Assessing whether grants to promote youths’ reading and writing are having an impact
  • Client
    Institute of Education Sciences
  • Dates
    2021 - 2023


An evaluation of the impact of federally funded literacy programs.

Seventeen states received Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy (SRCL) grants  to create programs to advance pre-literacy skills, reading, and writing skills for students from birth through grade 12, including students with limited English or with disabilities. Additionally, 13 states applied for Comprehensive Literacy State Development (CLSD) grants to develop programs in 2019 and 2020 to promote the same literacy skills, but with a focus on children living in poverty, English learners, and children with disabilities. To determine the effectiveness of the SRCL grant-funded programs and 11 of the CLSD grant-funded programs, the Institute of Education Sciences’ (IES) National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (NCEE) contracted with the American Institutes for Research and its partners NORC, Abt Associates, and the Instructional Research Group. NORC is conducting recruitment and data collection activities for the study.


NORC is collecting data on literacy program implementation from administrators and educators.

For the SRCL evaluation, NORC led the survey data collection effort, which included the administration of the following five online surveys: Subgrantee (district), K12 Principal, Early Care Center Program Director, K-12 Teacher, and Pre-K Teacher. NORC’s efforts included conducting district and school recruitment activities, collecting teacher roster data, conducting school and teacher sampling, and creating sampling weights and final data files for analysis. Data collection for the SRCL evaluation occurred in spring 2019, and spring 2020. For the CLSD evaluation, NORC is leading the survey data collection effort, which includes district and school recruitment and the administration of three rounds of subgrantee, school leader, and teacher surveys across two cohorts of respondents. The first round of the CLSD evaluation was completed in the spring of 2021 with Cohort 1. The second round took place in the spring of 2022 and included Cohort 1 and Cohort 2. The third round, which includes Cohort 2, will complete data collection in June of 2023.


This study will inform efforts to improve student literacy.

Results from these independent program evaluations will inform policymakers, administrators, and educators regarding implementation of the SRCL and CLSD programs, including grant award procedures, technical assistance, continuous improvement procedures, literacy interventions at the school level, and students’ literacy outcomes.

Project Director

Principal Research Director

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