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Talent Development High School (TDHS) — Strategic Reading and Student Team Literature

Essa Rating
No. Studies
No. Students
Average Effect Size

Program Description

The Talent Development High School (TDHS) is a whole-school reform model that focuses on reading and math. The reading approach is called Strategic Reading and Student Team Literature (or Strategic Reading for short).

TDHS provides a “double dose” of reading and math to ninth graders in high-poverty schools. In reading, students take double periods of Strategic Reading (90 minutes daily) in the first semester, and then double periods of English 1 in the second semester.

In Strategic Reading, students work in small, interdependent cooperative learning groups. They do paired reading for fluency and comprehension, practice new vocabulary related to novels and plays, and help each other identify characters, plots, and informational content using structured partner discussion guides that provide background, vocabulary, and comprehension questions.

Teachers model the comprehension process using “read-aloud/think-aloud” demonstrations and provide mini-lessons on specific comprehension strategies. Students are given time for self-selected reading and writing activities.

Program Outcomes

The one qualifying study of TDHS in Baltimore found very positive outcomes for ninth graders in comparison to a control group on CTBS Terra Nova tests (effect size = +0.32). This matched study qualified the program for the ESSA “Promising” category.

Staffing Requirements

One FTE English teacher for each cohort of 75-100 students. If possible, one English Instructional Coach provided by the school or district.

Professional Development/Training

Suggested professional development is approximately 20 days of Johns Hopkins Instructional Facilitator support.

  • Two days of start-up and awareness training for all Strategic Reading teachers
  • Two days  per month of job-imbedded JHU Instructional Facilitator support

*A minimum of 3 days of technical assistance from a JHU ELA facilitator is required.