Reading Apprenticeship Improving Secondary Education (RAISE)

RAISE is a five-year effort that supports dissemination of Reading Apprenticeship disciplinary literacy professional development to reach more than 2,500 high school content teachers and over 400,000 students in five states (California, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Utah).

In process are a randomized controlled study to investigate the efficacy of the Reading Apprenticeship approach and a mixed-methods study focused on issues involved in an implementation of this magnitude.

Research Questions

Researchers from Empirical Education and IMPAQ will address the following questions in the randomized controlled study:

  • What is the impact of Reading Apprenticeship on teachers’ ability to integrate disciplinary literacy practices and explicit literacy instruction into high school biology, U.S. history, and English language arts classes?
  • What is the impact of Reading Apprenticeship on students’ reading behaviors, attitudes, and strategies, including reading persistence and the ability to implement problem-solving and comprehension strategies?
  • What is the impact of Reading Apprenticeship on students’ academic achievement in English language arts, biology, and U.S. history?
  • What is the impact of Reading Apprenticeship on students’ academic attainment, course performance, and retention in high school?


Intervention: The intervention for the randomized controlled study and the scale-up study is the same: 10 days of discipline-specific Reading Apprenticeship teacher professional development (grade 9 English language arts, high school biology, and high school U.S. history), monthly on-site meetings, and online resources.

Reading Apprenticeship-trained facilitators in collaboration with local education agencies will deliver the professional development. Leadership development for supporting the on-site monthly teacher meetings is explicitly designed into the model.

Design and Sample: The study will use a group randomized experimental design in 40-44 schools that serve a high proportion of high-needs students (students eligible for free and reduced-price lunch; African American and Latino students; students with low prior academic achievement, particularly in English language arts; and English language learners).

Half the schools will be randomly assigned to the experimental group and half to a wait-listed control group. In each school six to nine teachers — two to three teachers of each target course — will be followed, along with their students.

Measures of school participation and implementation of Reading Apprenticeship in the professional development and classroom teaching are being developed, as are measures of the impact of this implementation on student learning experiences, engagement, and achievement.

In addition, evaluators will document the scale-up of the intervention in five states to identify important features of the school and district contexts that may influence the success of the intervention.


Complete study findings will be available at the end of the five-year project, in 2015.