THE ILLINOIS STUDY
A report of reading gains made in 23 literacy programs in minois for fiscal year 1988 provided the data for Figure 96. The 23 programs included six Laubach Literacy Action programs, four Literacy Volunteers of America programs and thirteen "eclectic" programs. These programs were funded by the Illinois Secretary of State's Literacy Projects office and conducted by a variety of community groups, including non-profit organizations, community colleges, libraries, and public schools. The 23 programs were selected to be representative of 89 programs serving 16,400 students in Illinois in fiscal year 1988.
The test used to assess reading gain was the Slosson Oral Reading Test (SORT), a test that assesses word identification without assessing understanding of meaning. Scores on the SORT are reported in reading grade levels. The adult students were assessed at the beginning of the programs and then again every three months for a year. The SORT was used repeatedly, and hence some practice effects may have influenced gain scores. The first test was called the pre-test, and the repeated examinations given every three months were called post-test 1, post-test 2, and post-test 3. The data of Figure 96 include the pre-test and post-test 1 data to provide improvement scores comparable to the California and New York data of Figures 95 and 97. The hours of instruction between the pre-test end post-test 1 ranged from 1 to 62.5. The data obtained with repeated post-testings are given in Figure 99.
As Figure 96 indicates, there are large variations in the gains achieved in various programs. program number 17 made the largest gain, 1.4 "years", in 25.5 hours, while program number 9, with 32 hours of instruction made only .6 "years" gain. On the average, about 6.5 "months" of gain were made in some 36 hours of instruction between the pre-test and post-test 1. Generally, amount of improvement does not appear to be associated with hours of instruction.
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