SMART has a number of program outcomes that prove the model’s effectiveness in improving children’s reading skills, self-confidence and enthusiasm for reading.
Eugene Research Institute
An independent study by the Eugene Research Institute reveals that fifth graders who participated in SMART are 60 percent more likely to reach state reading benchmarks than are similar students who did not participate. The full study is available for download here.
SMART Student Milestones
SMART teachers are asked to participate in an annual voluntary survey reporting progress they have observed for each participating SMART student throughout the year. Highlights of the 2015-16 Milestones include:
- Over 95 percent of students showed improvement in measures of literacy development. These measures, which align to classroom standards, include:
- Understanding that stories have a structure
- Making good predictions about what might happen in a story
- Giving appropriate details when retelling
- Making connections between the story and personal experience
- 95 percent of students demonstrated improved vocabulary
- For 96 percent of students, teachers reported that SMART benefited the students’ learning and growth this year
- 97 percent of students demonstrated increased pleasure in reading or being read to
- 94 percent of students exhibited increased confidence in reading skills
- 69 percent of students met or exceeded grade-level benchmarks in reading motivation, and 75 percent improved towards reading motivation benchmarks
SMART surveys educators and parents at the end of each year to gain insights about their experiences, which helps us continually improve our program. The 2015-16 feedback is overwhelmingly positive, revealing significant benefits for children participating in SMART:
- 87 percent of educators indicated SMART contributed significantly to reading motivation and enjoyment for their students
- Parents reported that their children improved in the following ways because of their participation in SMART:
- 94 percent of parents agreed that their children benefited significantly from the SMART program
- 83 percent of parents said their children demonstrated improved reading skills as a result of participating in SMART
SMART was found to have “potentially positive effects on alphabetics, fluency, and comprehension” while other very prominent, full-year reading curricula tended to have studies with randomized-control trials or with experimental designs that did not meet evidence standards.