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EBRI* in Rural and Correctional Settings. (* E vidence- B ased R eading I nstruction) Marn Frank, Reading & STAR Coordinator Kim Johnson, ATLAS Director. Objectives. To explain MN ABE and ATLAS PD structures To review the National STAR Project

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ebri in rural and correctional settings

EBRI* in Rural and Correctional Settings

(*Evidence-Based Reading Instruction)

Marn Frank, Reading & STAR Coordinator

Kim Johnson, ATLAS Director

  • To explain MN ABE and ATLAS PD structures
  • To review the National STAR Project
  • To report rural and correctional challenges with STAR
  • To share MN EBRI solutions, successes, and next steps
mn abe structure
MN ABE Structure
  • 500+ delivery sites in urban, suburban, and rural locations
  • Most affiliated with public school districts; some with non-profits, technical colleges, or corrections
  • Licensed teachers serve approximately 75,000 adult students (about 50% are ELLs)
  • Instruction provided for Adult Diploma, GED, ESL, Family Literacy, Basic Skills Enhancement, Workplace Literacy, Citizenship/Civics
  • Supported by more than 3,000 trained volunteers
atlas pd structure
ATLAS PD Structure
  • Funded by an annual supplemental services grant from the Minnesota Department of Education
  • Primary provider of PD for language (Adult ESL), reading (STAR & EBRI), numeracy (MNI), and transition (ACES)
  • Based on standards, grounded in current data and research, and shaped by continuous evaluation and reflection
  • Staff or contractors coordinate statewide regionals, conferences, institutes, webinars, website resources, and a bi-monthly newsletter
student achievement in reading star project
Student achievement in reading (STAR) Project
  • Developed and supported by the Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE)
  • Based on evidence: (1) findings from scientific research studies and (2) conclusions from adult literacy experts
  • Focused on Low/High Intermediate level students reading between 4.0-8.9 grade level equivalency (GLE)
  • Comprehensive package of trainings, technical assistance, coaching, trainer certification, and 24/7 access to an online Toolkit
star model
STAR Model
  • Establish managed enrollment structures and attendance policies
  • Conduct diagnostic reading assessment in all four components
  • Use assessment evidence to plan and deliver explicit instruction in all components of need
  • Use tools, techniques, strategies, and materials determined effective for adults
  • Organize a STAR instructional routine based on students' strengths, weaknesses, and progress
rural challenges
Rural Challenges
  • Low population of Low/High Intermediate level students and inconsistent attendance
  • Limited funding to support small, separate STAR classes
  • Administrator/teacher reluctance to set-up and enforce attendance policies
  • Incomplete conduction of diagnostic reading assessments
correctional challenges
Correctional Challenges
  • High population of Low/High Intermediate level students - yet inconsistent attendance
  • Facility priority of placing students in classes ASAP (no idleness!)
  • Administrator reluctance to set-up managed enrollment/entry structures
  • Incomplete conduction of diagnostic reading assessments
what did the evidence say
What Did The Evidence Say?
  • The STAR Model does not fit all MN ABE programs
  • Challenges with establishing managed enrollment structures lead to difficulties with conducting diagnostic reading assessment
  • Challenges with both of the above limit delivery of evidence-based reading instruction
  • Persistent challenges with the STAR Model result in participant frustration and discouragement
mn ebri solution see handout pages 3 8
MN EBRI Solution (See Handout, Pages 3-8 )
  • Select at least one Beginning (GLE 1.0-3.9) or Intermediate (GLE 4.0-8.9) reading group or class
  • Conduct at least one diagnostic reading assessment (alphabetics, fluency, vocabulary)
  • Use the evidence to provide explicit instruction in at least one reading component of need
  • Choose at least one relevant reading material and activity
  • Monitor effectiveness and over time, add more reading assessments, components, materials, and activities
rural solution steps see handout pages 3 5
Rural Solution Steps (See Handout, Pages 3-5 )
  • Met with rural STAR administrator and teachers to identify persistent challenges and frustrations
  • Asked for new action plan goals and steps; provided email feedback
  • Sent teacher/administrator check-in emails and coaching replies every 1-2 months
rural successes one year later
Rural Successes (one year later…)
  • Program 1: Conducting vocabulary assessment and providing explicit vocabulary instruction
  • Program 2: Conducting phonics assessment, providing more effective Beginning reading instruction, adding fluency with Reading A-Z
  • Program 3: Implementing a full STAR class! Conducting all four assessments and providing alphabetics, fluency, and vocabulary instruction to a core group of 6-10 ELLs
correctional solution steps see handout pages 6 8
Correctional Solution Steps (See Handout, Pages 6-8)
  • Met with DOC Education Director to discuss persistent challenges and frustrations
  • Checked in with DOC STAR teachers about persistent challenges and frustrations
  • Developed a print EBRI resource and accompanying EBRI study circle
ebri study circle
EBRI Study Circle
  • Participants read and complete graphic organizers about EBRI before meetings
  • Participants discuss, process, and judge what EBRI means for their classroom practice during meetings
  • Participants share predicted and real challenges with EBRI during meetings
  • Participants develop EBRI one-step-at-a-time action and next steps plans after meetings
stories of success excerpts
Stories of Success Excerpts

“As I was testing/assessing my students [in vocabulary], I became more aware of individual thought process and how each task/each question was approached. This helped me understand the “learning profile/personality” of each of my students. [My EBRI class] had a different “tone.” I interpreted it as the adult learners believing that I was also invested in their learning. I was able to demonstrate my investment through assessment and discussion with each student individually - 20 min. goes a long way.”


“The vocabulary piece of EBRI has had the greatest impact and most success. One of my students told me how learning vocabulary helped promote fluency when doing our group [oral] reading. In addition, he noted that awareness of Tier Two words helped him in his own personal reading [and recognition of words] in written text. [When] he cannot define the words, he now has the tools necessary to find the meaning, related synonyms, antonyms and proper usage.”


“EBRI has improved my understanding of reading instruction and given me confidence in implementing the diagnostic assessments, [explicit] delivery (explanation, modeling, guided practice, independent practice), and managing the ongoing process. Students’ increases in TABE scores illustrate the EBRI success. [Literacy] 3 teachers are confident that a student from my class is ready to take the GED test.”


“An older man in my class came in not wanting to be in school. He never felt comfortable with his reading or confident in his learning. After doing the [alphabetics and vocabulary assessments], he realized that he knew more than he thought he did. When I started [the fluency assessment], he didn’t want to read to me and it was a hard sell. He spent time on the Marshall Reading stories and accomplished better fluency rate, comprehension, and confidence in reading.”

ebri next steps
EBRI Next Steps
  • Complete EBRI SC 2 and evaluate
  • Further revise EBRI resource and study guide
  • Facilitate more EBRI SCs in FY 14
  • Provide ongoing support for EBRI participants
ebri resource and study guide
EBRI Resource and Study Guide

Email Marn to request a pdf

thank you