Just one program was found to have positive effects or potentially positive effects across all four of the domains in the review—alphabetics, fluency, comprehension, and general reading achievement. That program, Reading Recovery, an intensive, one-on-one tutoring program, has drawn criticism over the past few years from prominent researchers and federal officials who claimed it was not scientifically based.
Reading this made me want to shout from the rooftops, "Reading recovery works!" Of course it does. In reading recovery trained teachers meet one-on-one with struggling students everyday to read and write. Having observed reading recovery lessons in my school, I have seen firsthand the power in the structure and time spent with these students.
The review is quite fascinating to see. There are very few programs that have earned 'positive effects' in any area much less in multiple. This may be simply because the What Works Clearinghouse is unwilling to slap that label on without significant support for it. Or, it could be that many of our reading programs do not address the full range of skills necessary to read well.