Early Reading First (ERF) was an early literacy program targeting preschoolers from low income families at high risk of reading failure. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, each of these projects was a multi-year contract (3-4 years) with features to their model unique to each district. Apter & O’Connor provided rigorous evaluations to support continuous program improvement and to assess both fidelity of implementation and the impact of ERF on participants. The scope of work for each required a detailed evaluation plan, data collection methods and tools and often designing a data collection system.
Qualitative Methods included focus groups, surveys, stakeholder interviews, classroom observations, participant observation and content analysis. Quantitative methods included standard statistical methods to test for significant growth in students and in classroom environment on standardized assessments (pre-post, by demographic risk factors, between treatment/non-treatment groups). Early Reading First is a Federal grant and as such required extensive and detailed reporting requirements including GPRA and the e-grants reporting system. Apter & O’Connor completed each of these annual and multi-year federal reports as well as numerous interim reports and presentations to the clients.