Does Chicago's "Super-Sized" Coaching Program Really Work?

Largely without notice, Chicago's three-year-old literacy program has grown into one of the largest efforts to put literacy coaches in schools in the nation, putting it at the leading edge of a major trend in education reform. The Chicago Reading Initiative now includes over 600 literacy coaches in almost 400 schools, including over 200 schools with two coaching positions. But the $52 million a year program has had three directors in three years and recently decided to water down the qualifications for coaches in the schools in order to fill an ever-expanding number of positions. Just as important, the original set of schools with reading coaches have not outpaced the rest of the district when it comes to reading scores.

For all this and more, see: Reading initiative expands, stumbles (Catalyst Chicago).

For additional background, see:
School-based coaching: revolution or fad? (Harvard Education Letter)
Literacy coaches: an evolving role (Carnegie Reporter)


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