Research and Evaluation

Targeted Instructional Support Initiative in Elementary Schools–Implementation Evaluation

Berhane B. Araia, Ph.D. & Carole Portas Keane, Ph.D.



This report presents findings from the implementation evaluation of the Targeted Instructional Support Initiative in Elementary Schools (TISI-ES).  TISI-ES is a comprehensive intervention in early literacy, which aims to improve the teaching of Reading/English Language Arts (RELA) so as to positively impact the reading proficiency of students.  The initiative was implemented in 25 elementary schools with the lowest percentages of second grade students reading on-grade level.  To increase the skills of elementary school reading teachers, the TISI-ES program integrates professional development (PD) to teachers through seminars and workshops, as well as individualized in-school literacy coaching.  This evaluation utilized primary data gathered from interviews of key program staff, surveys of stakeholders and documents describing the intervention and the related PD activities participants received.  Overall, the data indicate that the targeted population received the intervention-proscribed services and these services have impacted participants’ teaching practices.  The teachers who received coaching services indicate that they increased their use of the instructional strategies about which they have been coached.  They also feel more comfortable differentiating their teaching practices to meet the needs of differently-abled students in their classrooms.  Furthermore, about two-thirds feel that their reading instruction has improved a great deal.  Principals of the participating schools also expressed positive opinions about the initiative’s effect.  In sum, the study supports the importance of coaching as a means of PD for teachers in their quest for improvement of literacy education and student reading.  While these outcomes are promising, the impact on students’ reading skills will be the true test of TISI-ES’s success.


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