Jacob examines effects of Evidence Based Literacy Instruction on student reading

January 25, 2017

An NBER working paper by Brian Jacob, "When Evidence is Not Enough: Findings from a Randomized Evaluation of Evidence-Based Literacy Instruction," is forthcoming in Labour Economics.


This paper reports the results of an experimental evaluation of Evidence Based Literacy Instruction (EBLI). Developed over 15 years ago, EBLI aims to provide teachers with instructional strategies to improve reading accuracy, fluency and comprehension. Sixty-three teachers in grades 2-5 in seven Michigan charter schools were randomly assigned within school-grade blocks to receive EBLI training or a business-as-usual control condition. Comparing students in treatment and control classrooms during the 2014-15 school year, we find no significant impact on reading performance. Teacher survey responses and interviews with program staff suggest that several implementation challenges may have played a role in the null findings.