Publications & Resources

The Implementation and Effects of the Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC): Early Findings in Eighth-Grade History/Social Studies and Science Courses

Aug 2015

Joan L. Herman, Scott Epstein, Seth Leon, Yunyun Dai, Deborah La Torre Matrundola, Sarah Reber and Kilchan Choi

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation invested in the Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC) as one strategy to support teachers’ and students’ transition to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in English language arts. This report provides an early look at the implementation of LDC in eighth-grade history/social studies and science classes in two states, and the effectiveness of the intervention in these settings. The study found that across states and subjects, teachers understood LDC and implemented it with fidelity. Teachers also generally reported positive attitudes about the effectiveness of LDC and its usefulness in introducing literacy instruction into content area classrooms. Quasi-experimental analyses using Coarsened Exact Matching (CEM) techniques and hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) found a small statistically significant positive effect on reading scores in the one state where suitable data were available, but no effects on writing scores. However, students generally performed at low levels on assessments designed to align with the intervention, suggesting the challenge of meeting CCSS expectations. Exploratory analyses suggest that LDC may have been most effective for higher achieving students. However understandable, the findings thus suggest that, in the absence of additional scaffolding and supports for low-achieving students, LDC may be gap enhancing.

Herman, J. L., Epstein, S., Leon, S., Dai, Y., La Torre Matrundola, D., Reber, S., & Choi, K. (2015). The implementation and effects of the Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC): Early findings in eighthgrade history/social studies and science courses (CRESST Report 848). Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).