Evaluation of the Early Literacy Specialist (ELS) Coach Initiative in District Elementary Schools

About the Initiative

Early Literacy Specialist (ELS) coaches support students by  promoting and supporting the implementation of research-based teaching practices for literacy;  improving K-3 teacher content knowledge, instructional practices, classroom environments and classroom structure; and providing content- focused coaching and resources.

During the 2015-16 school year, 40 elementary schools (cohort 1), serving approximately 14,000 K-3 students, received a literacy coach. In the 2016-17 school year, an additional 53 schools (cohort 2), serving 15,400 K-3 students, received a literacy coach. In the 2017-18 school year, the remaining 57 schools (cohort 3), serving approximately 18,500 students, received a literacy coach.

About the Evaluation

The Office of Research and Evaluation (ORE) is conducting a four year evaluation of the implementation and outcomes of the Early Literacy Specialist Initiative. The evaluation instruments include satisfaction and implementation surveys of principals, teachers, and ELS coaches; teacher focus groups; coach activity logs; school level literacy block implementation data; and a longitudinal analysis of student outcomes.

Research questions include:

  • Was ELS coaching implemented as intended?
  • What were the primary successes and challenges of implementing coaching in a large urban school district?
  • Were coaches, teachers, and principals satisfied with the ELS coaching initiative?
  • What do teachers and principals perceive to be the benefits of coaching?
  • In what ways did schools improve their literacy instruction as a result of coaching?
  • In what ways did student outcomes change?

For More Information

Research Brief – Implementing K-3 Literacy Coaching in SDP: Teacher Identified Practices of Effective Coaching (May 2019)

Research Brief – Principal Perceptions of Early Literacy Specialist Turnover, 2017-18 (January 2019)

Research Brief – Early Literacy Coach Survey Findings, 2017-18 (December 2018)

Focus Brief – K-3 Teacher Retention in the Early Literacy Initiative (October 2018)

Slide Deck – Principal Survey about Early Literacy Specialists Results (October 2018)

Slide Deck – Teacher Survey about Early Literacy Specialists Results (June 2018)

Study Summary – Early Literacy Specialists (ELS) in SDP: Program Implementation and Student Literacy Gains, 2015-2016 SY (March 2017)