Early Literacy Intervention:
Expanding Expertise and Impact

a Reading Recovery initiative in partnership with the U.S. Department of Education

The goal of this initiative is to focus on developing highly effective teachers and resources for schools for improving the reading and writing abilities of students.
Funding has been provided through an award from the U.S. Department of Education, under award number U215K090094, for the Fund for the Improvement of Education (FIE) Program. The contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the federal government.

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Cost-Effectiveness Analysis as a Decision Tool in Selecting and Implementing Instructional Interventions in Literacy

Cost effectiveness is a concept that often guides policy and decisions that influence the services available for children who struggle with early literacy learning. The federal What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) evaluates the evidence of the effectiveness of various reading programs, but cost effectiveness remains a largely subjective judgment.

This report by Dr. Barbara Hummel-Rossi and Dr. Jane Ashdown provides a review of the cost-effectiveness literature related to early literacy intervention and information on the cost effectiveness of Reading Recovery and other relevant interventions. The authors have developed a decision-making checklist and a worksheet with calculation formulas to determine the cost effectiveness of implementing a new literacy intervention.

A Note from the Authors
This report summarizes the results of our investigation into the economic analyses of instructional interventions in literacy. Our research of the literature encompassed the fields of early childhood education, literacy education, educational policy, educational finance, economics of education, educational interventions, and psychology. In researching four guiding questions, we have accumulated a large number of articles from the literature that should prove valuable to other literacy researchers.


Dr. Barbara Hummel-Rossi
Research, Evaluation, and Statistical Consultant
Former tenured professor
Measurement and Research Program
Department of Applied Psychology
Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
New York University

Dr. Jane Ashdown
Dean, Ruth S. Ammon School of Education, Adelphi University
Former university dean for academic affairs
Office of Academic Affairs: Teacher Education
The City University of New York

Former faculty
Department of Teaching and Learning
Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development
New York University