Evaluation of The Hill Center Program in Durham Public Schools

This is a two-year evaluation of the Hill Center Reading Achievement Program (HillRAP) as implemented in the Durham Public Schools from September 2008 to June 2010. The Center for Child and Family Policy conducted this evaluation in collaboration with the Durham Public School System and the NC GlaxoSmithKline Foundation. This study is an extension of a previous evaluation of HillRAP in the Durham Public Schools that took place from 2003 to 2006, carried out by RTI International.

The purpose of this evaluation was to examine the effectiveness of HillRAP in helping public school students in grades 1 through 8 whose reading skills are compromised. A preliminary evaluation of the HillWrite program, designed for students with writing difficulties, is also included. Specifically, we addressed the following questions:

  1. What are the effects of HillRAP instruction on reading achievement over time?
  2. How do program outcomes vary for different subgroups of children? Specifically, do the effects of the Hill Center programs vary by race/ethnicity, sex, age, grade level, English language proficiency, free/reduced lunch eligibility, exceptional children status, exceptional children classification, IQ, or history of grade retention?
  3. How well does the Hill Center teacher training prepare teachers to deliver HillRAP in a public school setting? What is the level of intervention fidelity for these teachers?
  4. What are the effects of attendance and model fidelity (i.e., faithful implementation of HillRAP) on reading achievement?
  5. What preliminary information can we deduce about the effectiveness of the HillWrite program?