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Program Assessment


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Early Reading First

The Early Reading First (ERF) program is designed to implement research-based early literacy programs in already existing preschool programs to enhance the early language, literacy, and prereading development of preschool-aged children.


What This Rating Means

Moderately Effective

In general, a program rated Moderately Effective has set ambitious goals and is well-managed. Moderately Effective programs likely need to improve their efficiency or address other problems in the programs' design or management in order to achieve better results.
  • The program addresses a compelling need. Studies show that a high percentage of children from low-income families attend preschools that often fail to provide the language, cognitive, and early reading instruction and activities needed. The Early Reading First program is intended to address the gaps in quality between low-income children and their peers of higher socioeconomic status.
  • The program is reaching its original performance targets. The percentage of preschool-aged children participating in ERF programs who demonstrated age-appropriate oral language skills increased from 56 percent in 2004 to 67.9 percent in 2005.
  • The Department of Education has recently established new performance measures in the areas of significant literacy gains and program efficiency.

Improvement Plan

About Improvement Plans

We are taking the following actions to improve the performance of the program:

  • Collecting data for the new measures: significant gains in early literacy skills, and the cost per preschool-aged child participating in Early Reading First programs who achieves significant gains.
  • Implementing a measure of kindergarten readiness by requiring entities that receive a grant for a second three-year period to collect former participants' academic achievement in kindergarten.
  • Updating the recent performance data on the program's website as they become available.

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