A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Early Literacy Interventions

Jessica Simon

A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Early Literacy Interventions
Simon, Jessica
Thesis Advisor(s):
Levin, Henry M.
Ph.D., Teachers College
Economics and Education
Persistent URL:
Success in early literacy activities is associated with improved educational outcomes, including reduced dropout risk, in-grade retention, and special education referrals. When considering programs that will work for a particular school and context; cost-effectiveness analysis may provide useful information for decision makers. The study provides information about the cost-effectiveness of four early literacy programs that the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC), a government agency that evaluates effectiveness research in education, has determined show evidence of effectiveness: Accelerated Reader, Classwide Peer Tutoring, Reading Recovery, and Success for All. By using meta-analytic techniques to combine effect sizes for different studies and weighting literacy outcomes, the study provides new information about the relative effectiveness of early literacy programs. In particular, by weighting literacy outcomes, the study casts new light upon the relative importance of different kinds of literacy outcomes for creating successful beginning readers. Costs are often ignored, but are a necessary consideration given budget constraints. Rigorous measurement of program costs and presentation of cost-effectiveness ratios provides information about the relative cost-effectiveness of four "effective" programs.
Educational evaluation
Education and state
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Suggested Citation:
Jessica Simon, , A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of Early Literacy Interventions, Columbia University Academic Commons, .

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