Abt Associates: Bold thinkers driving real-world impact
Student Achievement in Reading (STAR) is an initiative of the U.S. Department of Education to facilitate the use of evidence-based reading instruction (EBRI) to teach low-skilled adult learners in adult basic education programs. STAR involves the delivery of training and technical assistance to support ABE instructors’ implementation of EBRI, with the assumption that the use of EBRI will assist adults in developing their reading skills.
In 2007, the Department of Education funded Abt Associates and JBL Associates, Inc. to conduct an exploratory study of whether STAR training and materials are effective in developing adult basic education instructors’ capacity to deliver EBRI and, consequently, in improving adult learners’ reading skills. During this four-year study, assessment and interview data were collected from 244 adults in 14 Adult basic education programs in seven states, and observation and interview data were collected from 18 instructors. The study employed a quasi-experimental design that provided important data about differences in STAR-trained and non-STAR-trained instructors’ use of evidence-based reading instruction and learners’ development of reading skills. The study’s results have informed the refinement of STAR’s professional development materials.
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.