Project GLAD Study Year 1 Findings

Preliminary results from the first scientific study of OCDE Project GLAD® (Guided Language Acquisition Design) suggest that the popular instructional model may improve literacy outcomes for English language learners, without slowing down their English proficient peers. For an overview of the study and Year 1 findings, watch the video below.


In 2010, Education Northwest was awarded a $2.8 million dollar grant from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) for a four-year experimental study of Project GLAD. Although Project GLAD has been used by almost 50,000 teachers in 13 states to help ELL students develop academic English skills, the model had not previously undergone a rigorous evaluation. The Education Northwest study examines Project GLAD’s effectiveness through a cluster randomized trial involving fifth-grade teachers and students in 30 Idaho elementary schools. We collected two years of data on the impact of Project GLAD on students’ reading comprehension, vocabulary, science achievement, and writing. We also measured teachers’ implementation.

Project GLAD Study Design

Education Northwest conducted an independent research study to examine the effects of OCDE Project GLAD® . This study addresses four research questions.

  • To what extent do teachers implement the teaching strategies promoted by Project GLAD during the training year and the following school year?
  • What is the impact of Project GLAD teacher training on the reading, writing, and science achievement of fifth-grade students in the treatment classrooms during the initial training year, compared to a “business as usual” control group?
  • What is the impact of Project GLAD teacher training on the reading, writing, and science achievement of fifth-grade students in the treatment classrooms during the year following the initial training year, compared to a “business as usual” control group?
  • Is the impact of Project GLAD different for fifth-grade ELLs and non-ELLs?

Study Documents

Project GLAD Implementation

Examining implementation of OCDE Project GLAD® was an important component of this study. We wanted to understand how Project GLAD was used by teachers in the treatment group. We also wanted to know whether or not teachers in the control group used Project GLAD, or similar strategies, despite being in the control group. Our measures of implementation included attendance logs at professional development sessions, coaching logs, monthly surveys, classroom observations, and interviews with teachers and principals.

Overall, we found that all treatment teachers received the full training and coaching follow-up. All treatment teachers used Project GLAD to at least some extent, although the frequency and quality of implementation varied greatly across teachers. Very few control teachers used strategies similar to Project GLAD strategies.

Principal Investigator Theresa Deussen explains why districts should be concerned about implementation.

Additional Resources

Study team members have shared information about their implementation measures at several recent conferences:


These published articles, books, or book chapters are referred to in other sections of this website.

Banilower, E.R., & Shimkus, E.S. (2004). Professional development observation study. Chapel Hill, NC: Horizon Research.

Borko, H. (2004). Professional development and teacher learning: Mapping the terrain. Educational Researcher, 33(8), 3–15.

Brechtel, M. (2001). Bringing it all together: Language and literacy in the multilingual classroom (Rev. ed.). Carlsbad, CA: Dominie Press.

Cohen, D.K., & Hill, H.C. (2001). Learning policy: When state education reform works. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Crawford, J., & Krashen, S. (2007). English learners in American classrooms: 101 questions, 101 answers. New York, NY: Scholastic.

Desimone, L.M. (2006). Toward a more refined theory of school effects: a study of the relationship between professional community and mathematic teaching in early elementary school. In W. Hoy & C. Miskel (Eds.), Contemporary issues in educational policy and school outcomes (pp. 87–134). Greenwich, CT: Information Age.

Deussen, T., Coskie, T., Robinson, L., & Autio, E. (2007). “Coach” can mean many things: five categories of literacy coaches in Reading First (Issues & Answers Report, REL 2007–005). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Regional Educational Laboratory Northwest. Retrieved September 26, 2009, from

Echevarria, J., Short, D., & Powers, K. (2006). School reform and standards-based education: A model for English-language learners. Journal of Educational Research, 99(4), 195–210.

Fullan, M. (with Stiegelbauer, S.). (1991). The new meaning of educational change (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

Fullan, M. (1993). Change forces: Probing the depth of educational reform. New York, NY: Falmer Press.

Garet, M.S., Cronen, S., Eaton, M., Kurki, A., Ludwig, M., Jones, W., Uekawa, K., Falk, A., Bloom, H., Doolittle, F., Zhu, P., & Sztejnberg, L. (2008). The impact of two professional development interventions on early reading instruction and achievement (NCEE 2008-4030). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance. Retrieved September 28, 2009, from

Gunderson, L. (1991). ESL literacy instruction: A guidebook to theory and practice. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Regents/ Prentice Hall.

Guskey, T.R. (1994). Results-oriented professional development: in search of an optimal mix of effective practices. Journal of Staff Development, 15(4), 42–50.

Krashen, S.D., and Terrell, T.D. (1983). The natural approach: Language acquisition in the classroom. San Francisco, CA: Alemany Press.

Little, J.W. (1993). Teachers’ professional development in a climate of educational reform. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 15(2), 129–151.

Loucks-Horsley, S., Hewson, P.W., Love, N., & Stiles, K.E. (1998). Designing professional development for teachers of science and mathematics. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Peregoy, S.F., & Boyle, O.F. (2001). Reading, writing, and learning in ESL: A resource book for K–12 teachers (3rd ed.). White Plains, NY: Longman.

Poglinco, S.M., Bach, A.J., Hovde, K., Rosenblum, S., Saunders, M., & Supovitz, J.A. (2003). The heart of the matter: The coaching model in America’s Choice schools. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania, Consortium for Policy Research in Education. Retrieved September 28, 2009, from

Rosenholtz, S.J. (1989). Workplace conditions that affect teacher quality and commitment: Implications for teacher induction programs. Elementary School Journal, 89(4), 421–439.

Russo, A. (2004). School-based coaching: A revolution in professional development—or just the latest fad? Harvard Education Letter, 20(4), 1–4.

Supovitz, J.A., & Turner, H.M. (2000). The effects of professional development on science teaching practices and classroom culture. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 37(9), 963–980.

Tharp, R.G., Estrada, P., Dalton, S.S., & Yamauchi, L. (2000). Teaching transformed: Achieving excellence, fairness, inclusion and harmony. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Walpole, S., & McKenna, M.C. (2004). The literacy coach’s handbook: A guide to research-based practice. New York, NY: Guilford Press.

For more information about the study or the research base behind OCDE Project GLAD®, feel free to give us a call directly or contact us via this email - Angela Roccograndi

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