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Version 1.2 – Updated June 2023

Comprehensive reading programs


  • Influence: Comprehensive reading programs
  • Domain: Curricula
  • Sub-Domain: Reading, writing and the arts
  • Potential to Accelerate Student Achievement: Potential to accelerate
  • Influence Definition: Programs that include many elements to teach reading, usually aimed at specific groups of students (pre-school, middle, high school, minority)


  • Number of meta-analyses: 22
  • Number of studies: 821
  • Number of students: 460,223
  • Number of effects: 2,970
  • Weighted mean effect size: 0.57
  • Robustness index: 5


Journal Title Author First Author's Country Article Name Year Published Variable Number of Studies Number of Students Number of Effects Effect Size
Journal of Learning Disabilities Swanson USA Reading research for students with LD: a meta-analysis of intervention outcomes 1999 Reading interventions 112 3,895 334 0.77
Educational Researcher Pflaum, Walberg, Karegianes, & Rasher USA Reading instruction: A quantitative analysis 1980 Reading instruction 31 0 341 0.60
Report Slavin, Lake, Cheung, & Davis UK Beyond the Basics: Effective Reading Programs for the Upper Elementary Grades. 2009 K only studies 14 4,383 14 0.18
Dissertation Han USA Evidence-based reading instruction for English language learners in preschool through sixth grades: a meta-analysis of group design studies. 2009 Evidence based reading programs for pre-Yr 6 44 1,969 225 0.50
Reading Research Quarterly Slavin, Cheung, Groff, & Lake UK Effective reading programs for middle and high schools: a best-evidence synthesis 2008 Reading programs in middle and high schools 33 39,000 33 0.25
Report Scammacca, Roberts, Vaughn, Edmonds, Wexler, Reutebuch & Torgesen USA Interventions for adolescent struggling readers: A meta-analysis with implications for practice. 2007 Reading intervention for older students 31 0 31 0.95
Learning Disabilities Research & Practice Flynn, Zheng, & Swanson USA Instructing struggling older readers: a selective meta-analysis of intervention research. 2012 Interventions with older students 10 0 70 0.41
Review of Educational Research Edmonds, Vaughn, Wexler, Reutebuch, Cable, Tackett, & Schnakenberg USA A synthesis of reading interventions and effects on reading comprehension outcomes for older struggling readers. 2009 Reading interventions with older students 29 976 29 0.89
Dissertation Yang USA A meta-analysis of the effects of interventions to increase reading fluency among elementary school students  2006 Programs to enhance reading fluency 39 0 162 0.33
Review of Educational Research Roberts, Dumas, McNeish, & Coté USA Understanding the Dynamics of Dosage Response: A Nonlinear Meta-Analysis of Recent Reading Interventions. 2021 Maximal dosage of reading instruction 26 0 186 0.77
Children Amado-Rodríguez, Casañas, Mas-Expósito, Castellví, Roldan-Merino, Casas, Lalucat-Jo, & Fernández-San Martín Spain Effectiveness of Mental Health Literacy Programs in Primary and Secondary Schools: A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis. X 2022 Mental health literacy program on mental health knowledge 15 0 15 0.22
Journal of School Psychology Shin & McMaster USA Relations between CBM (oral reading and maze) and reading comprehension on state achievement tests: A meta-analysis.  2019 Curriculum based measurement 61 0 132 1.62
Child development Kim, Lee, & Zuilkowski USA Impact of literacy interventions on reading skills in low-and middle-income countries: A meta-analysis 2020 Literacy interventions 67 213,464 661 0.30
Dissertation Helaire USA Nurturing the literacy of African-American adolescents: A meta-analysis of reading interventions at the secondary level 2011 Reading for African-Americans at secondary level 16 1,882 68 0.32
Review of Educational Research Slavin, Lake, Chambers, Cheung, & Davis USA Effective reading programs for the elementary grades: A best-evidence synthesis 2009 Effective Reading programs 63 22,000 63 0.22
Educational Research Review Delgado, Vargas, Ackerman, & Salmeron Israel A meta-analysis on the effects of reading media on reading comprehension. 2018 Print vs digital reading books 54 171,055 54 0.21
Language learning Shintani, Li, & Ellis China Comprehension-based versus production-based grammar instruction: A meta-analysis of comparative studies 2013 Comprehension vs. production based grammar instruction 35 0 276 1.09
Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness Gersten USA Meta-analysis of the impact of reading interventions for students in the primary grades.  2020 Reading interventions 33 0 128 0.39
Journal of Literacy Research Cole USA Speaking to read: Meta-analysis of peer-mediated learning for English language learners 2014 Speaking to read 28 0 28 0.49
Report Slavin, Lake, Cheung, & Davis USA Effective Beginning Reading Programs: A Best-Evidence Synthesis 2009 Beginning reading curricula 8 1,599 8 0.16
Review of Educational Research Fikrat-Wevers, van Steensel, & Arends Netherlands Effects of Family Literacy Programs on the Emergent Literacy Skills of Children From Low-SES Families: A Meta-Analysis. 2021 Family literacy programs 42 0 65 0.41
Review of Educational Research Van Steensel, McElvany, Kurvers & Herppich Netherlands How effective are family literacy programs? Results of a meta-analysis 2011 Family literacy programs 30 0 47 0.18
TOTAL/AVERAGE 821 460,223 2,970 0.51
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