Independent Evaluation Finds Blueprint has Significant Impact on Students & Teachers

Independent Evaluation finds Children’s Literacy Initiative Pre-K Program, Blueprint, Boosts Student Achievement and Teacher Quality

Children’s Literacy Initiative (CLI), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that works to improve early literacy instruction, announced the findings from Children’s Literacy Initiative’s Blueprint for Early Literacy: An evaluation of implementation and impact on teacher and child outcomes. This report showed that the implementation of CLI’s pre-kindergarten (pre-K) curriculum, Blueprint for Early Literacy (Blueprint), had a substantial impact on students’ vocabulary development and teachers’ reported job satisfaction and confidence.

This independent evaluation report is part of ongoing research conducted by Research for Action (RFA), a Philadelphia-based non-profit education research organization. RFA is tracking the quality of CLI’s implementation of Blueprint, including teacher professional development, and through a rigorous causal impact study, the impact Blueprint is having on teachers and students in pre-K classrooms.

Blueprint (cliblueprint.org) combines literacy-based materials and curricula with professional development for pre-K teachers through workshops on best practices for early literacy instruction and individual coaching for educators. The study comprises 11 early childhood centers (34 classrooms) receiving Blueprint and 11 early childhood centers (39 classrooms) serving as a comparison group.

Funded by a generous three-year, $1.8 million grant awarded to CLI in 2016 by the William Penn Foundation, the study found “strong evidence” of Blueprint’s substantial impact on teachers and students. According to the report, “Multiple data sources demonstrated that teachers and children in Blueprint centers benefitted from the Blueprint curriculum and professional development.” For example, this independent research found that classrooms implementing the transformative curriculum have stronger literacy and language environments than those without it.

RFA reported that children in Blueprint classrooms outpaced their peers in pre-literacy skill development at a statistically significant level: Student scores on the Peabody Picture Vocabulary Test (PPVT), a measure of receptive vocabulary, were 3.6 points higher for students in CLI treatment classrooms with an effect size of 22% of a standard deviation. Translated to months of growth, students in CLI classrooms made 2-3 additional months of growth in vocabulary development compared to their peers. Additionally, teacher survey results indicated that children in Blueprint classrooms showed increases in engagement in language and literacy activities from fall to spring, compared to children in comparison classrooms. The report also found that despite high teacher turnover rates, the Blueprint curriculum positively impacts teacher work environments, reducing stress, and increasing job satisfaction.

“We know that children who are not kindergarten ready are half as likely to read well by third grade, and research has shown that quality pre-K has lasting positive impacts on children’s health, social-emotional, and cognitive outcomes,” said CLI CEO Joel Zarrow. “We are grateful for the opportunity to support teachers in implementing effective early literacy practices and fostering student growth so that more children enter kindergarten fully prepared. While CLI has been supporting pre-K instruction for over 15 years, RFA’s evaluation will help us to continue refining and improving our Blueprint curriculum and professional development so that we continue to see even better outcomes for students and teachers.”

Additional funding for Blueprint implementation was provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts, Boeing Company Charitable Trust, The 25th Century Foundation, The Caroline Alexander Buck Foundation, and The Capital Group Companies. Additional funding for the evaluation was provided by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.


ABOUT CHILDREN’S LITERACY INITIATIVE
Established in 1988, Children’s Literacy Initiative (CLI) is a national 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, headquartered in Philadelphia, that is focused on improving literacy instruction in public, charter, and parochial schools to ensure that students can read on grade level. CLI’s program provides personalized coaching for teachers and principals, research-based literacy training, and the books and materials classrooms need so that students can become powerful readers, writers, and thinkers. Third-party research has shown that the CLI professional development model can improve both educators’ early literacy instruction and also student reading achievement. Connect with CLI on Twitter @CLIupdates, on Facebook at Facebook.com/ChildrensLiteracyInitiative and via //www.cli.org.