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Reading grades studied

K – 4

Success for All — Struggling Readers

Essa Rating
No. Studies
No. Students
Average Effect Size

Program Description

Success for All (SFA) is a comprehensive school reform program designed to ensure success in reading for children in high-poverty schools. It provides schools with a K-5 reading curriculum that focuses on phonemic awareness, phonics, comprehension, and vocabulary development, beginning with phonetically-controlled mini-books in grades K-1. Cooperative learning is extensively used at all grade levels. Struggling students, especially first graders, receive one-to-one or small group tutoring. Children are frequently assessed on curriculum-based measures, and these are used to regroup children into reading groups according to current reading level, across grade lines. Extensive professional development and a full-time facilitator help teachers effectively apply all program elements. A Solutions Team works with parents to help them support their children’s achievement and social-emotional development and to deal with issues such as attendance and behavior problems.

Program Outcomes

Success for All has been evaluated in six qualifying studies in which separate analyses for low-achieving students were reported (lowest 25%, 33%, or 50% at pretest). Effect sizes ranged from +0.18 to  +1.27 in five of the studies, but one large study with a mean effect size of -0.01 for low achievers brought the mean overall down to +0.17. This qualifies Success for All for struggling readers at the ESSA “Strong” level, and for a “Solid Outcomes” rating (at least two studies with effect sizes of at least +0.20).

Staffing Requirements

Success for All is implemented as a core part of the school program by all teachers and administrators. A key role in the implementation is the identification of a program facilitator who provides support for program implementation, manages central data collection and review, and serves as a coach for teachers as they learn to implement the cooperative learning-based instructional program. Usually, an assistant principal, Title I Coordinator, or other existing staff member takes on this role. In addition, paraprofessionals are allocated to serve as tutors.

Professional Development/Training

Professional development is provided through a combination of onsite workshops, email and telephone support, “just-in-time” online resources, and onsite observations and consultation. About three days of workshops participation per teacher is required to begin implementation. A strong focus is the development of regular peer support structures within the school.


There are no technology requirements for implementation of Success for All, with the exception of access by the program facilitator to the internet-based data center. A computer-assisted tutoring approach is available, which, if implemented, requires three laptops, desktops, or tablets to be used by students. Many student resources and teacher resources are available via the internet, so technology resources available in the school can be utilized.