We are evaluating several educational initiatives led by school districts that seek to improve reading
achievement by refining their approach to literacy intervention, specifically targeting students with disabilities. One approach used by two of our district partners is the Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) deployed specifically by special education teachers. Districts invest in ongoing teacher professional learning and resources to bolster special education teacher’s access to high quality reading resources and confidence to deliver targeted and intensive reading interventions.
During initial phases of implementation, ensuring the intervention is delivered with fidelity is a priority for project teams. In our role as evaluators, we collaborated closely with school district staff to develop tools, such as classroom observation protocols, and often train district staff to utilize those tools. Training a team of observers builds inter-rater reliability for consistent identification of strategies observed across classrooms. This type of data is useful for identifying program elements that are being implemented successfully, and those that are not. Analysis of fidelity data allows project teams to target continued support and professional learning to close the gaps. Formative data collection, such as professional development feedback, annual staff surveys, and focus groups, provides additional insight on classroom implementation successes and challenges and overall efficacy with the intervention. Triangulation of the data sources enhances data validity and reliability, ensuring our district partners are able to make informed decisions.