Abt Associates: Bold thinkers driving real-world impact
For Immediate Release
July 27, 2011
BETHESDA, MD—Kindergarteners who received a supplementary intervention program to enhance vocabulary skills were more advanced than their non-participating peers in both vocabulary understanding and academic knowledge, according to a recently released study conducted by Abt Associates for the Regional Educational Laboratory – Southeast (REL-SE) at the SERVE Center, University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
The study, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, found that kindergarteners who received Kindergarten PAVEd for Success (K-PAVE) in randomly assigned public schools in the Mississippi Delta exhibited vocabulary skills and academic knowledge that were fully one month ahead of their peers.
K-PAVE is designed to improve expressive vocabulary—one of several critical factors required in learning to read and comprehend text. The K-PAVE study, conducted during the 2008-2009 school year, involved 1300 low-income kindergarteners in 65 public schools in the Delta. The 24-week program provides children with explicit vocabulary instruction and opportunities to engage in interactive book reading and teacher-student informal conversations.
The Mississippi Delta region was selected for the study because “this region has a high level of poverty, which has historically put children at risk for low reading achievement,” said Anne Wolf, director of the Abt evaluation. “In addition, improving reading achievement among students in the Delta region is a top priority of the Mississippi State Department of Education.”
The study also showed that K-PAVE had a positive impact on teachers trained in the program. “These teachers were significantly more likely than their untrained peers to engage in additional activities to support students’ vocabulary and comprehension development,” Wolf said.
To determine the longer-term impact of K-PAVE, Abt Associates conducted another study following the same students in the 2009-2010 school year. “We’re working on the report now,” she said, “and those findings will be presented in the near future.”
Abt Associates is a mission-driven, global leader in research and program implementation in the fields of health, social and environmental policy, and international development. Known for its rigorous approach to solving complex challenges, Abt Associates was ranked as one of the top 25 global research firms in 2010. It was recognized as one of the top 40 development innovators in 2011. The company has multiple offices in the U.S. and program offices in nearly 40 countries.
Funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, the REL-SE is one of 10 laboratories that conduct education research and provide evidence-based information and services to specific regions of the country.
The SERVE Center at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro is a university-based research and technical assistance center, committed to improving education for all students. It operatesthe Regional Educational Laboratory for the Southeast (REL-SE).
Sandy Cogan, 301-347-5913
Abt Associates is a mission-driven, global leader in research, evaluation and program implementation in the fields of health, social and environmental policy, and international development. Known for its rigorous approach to solving complex challenges, Abt Associates is regularly ranked as one of the top 20 global research firms and one of the top 40 international development innovators. The company has multiple offices in the U.S. and program offices in more than 40 countries.