Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Reading Program: Success for All (SFA)®

Reading Program Overview

Intervention: Success for All®

Program description

Success for All (SFA)® is a whole-school reform model that includes a reading,
writing, and oral language development program for students in prekindergarten
through eighth grade. Classroom reading instruction is delivered in daily 90-minute
blocks to students grouped by reading ability. Immediate intervention with tutors\
who are certified teachers is given each day to those students who are having
difficulty reading at the same level as their classmates.

This intervention report focuses on the reading component of SFA®, which is
often implemented in the context of the SFA® whole-school reform program.
Although the whole-school reform program has key components that are
implemented in each school, school sites may vary considerably in the
number of personnel used to implement SFA®, particularly tutors and
family support staff. The reading curricula are essentially the same at all
schools, with each school receiving the same training, coaching support,
and materials. Ratings presented in this report are not disaggregated by
the variations in implementation of whole-school reforms.


One study of SFA® meets the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) evidence
standards and six studies meet WWC evidence standards with reservations.
Altogether, the studies included nearly 4,000 students attending more than
70 elementary schools across the United States. The seven studies focused
on students in grades K–3 who received the SFA® intervention for varying
amounts of time.

Based on these seven studies, the WWC considers the extent of evidence
for SFA® to be medium to large for alphabetics, comprehension, and general
reading achievement. No studies that meet WWC evidence standards with or
without reservations addressed fluency.


Success for All® was found to have positive effects on alphabetics,
mixed effects for comprehension, and potentially positive effects on
general reading achievement.

1 This report has been updated to include reviews of 19 studies that have
been identified since 2006 and to incorporate the results of a reexamination
of the Madden et al. (1993) study included in the previous version of this
report, described in footnote 8. Of the additional studies, 15 are not within
the scope of the protocol and 4 are within the scope of the protocol but do
not meet evidence standards. A complete list and disposition of all studies
reviewed are provided in the references.

2 The descriptive information for this program was obtained from a publicly
available source: the program’s website (,
downloaded February 23, 2009). The WWC requests developers to
review the program description sections for accuracy from their perspective.
Further verification of the accuracy of the descriptive information for this
program is beyond the scope of this review.

3 The studies in this report were reviewed using WWC Evidence
Standards, Version 1.0 (see the WWC Standards).

4 The evidence presented in this report is based on available research.
Findings and conclusions may change as new research becomes available.

5 These numbers show the average and range of improvement indices for
all findings across the studies.

Teachers and Administrators:
Please Give your Input on Success for All (SFA)®

WWC is an initiative of the U.S. Department of Education's

Institute of Education Sciences, the WWC:

Produces user-friendly practice guides for educators that address
instructional challenges with research-based recommendations for
schools and classrooms; Assesses the rigor of research evidence
on the effectiveness of interventions (programs, products, practices,
and policies), giving educators the tools to make informed decisions;

Develops and implements standards for reviewing and synthesizing
education research; and

Provides a public and easily accessible
to assist schools, school districts, and program
developers with designing and carrying out
rigorous evaluations.

All reports are reprinted from the
US Department of Education website
WWC for informational purposes.
Complete Reports Can Be Found


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. The former COO of SFA is now our ass't superintendent. We have had SFA crammed down our throats, mid year with abbreviated training and no thought given to the placement of the children/students. We hear there is an investigation of the way in which the 'deals' with SFA were made.

    Third grade teacher, Alexandria City Public Schools


Thank you!