February 27, 2019

Research: Combined Adult Education

***The research on this page correspond to the Reading Horizons adult literacy program. Reading Horizons also creates other types of reading curriculum that uses explicit phonics instruction, for example, there is structured literacy curriculum, reading intervention curriculum, and ESL reading curriculum.***

Summary of Findings

90% of students demonstrated grade-level gains in reading skills as measured by the Test of Adult Basic Education. Students made 2.1 grade-level gains, on average, in less than 5 months. As measured by the National Reporting System for Educational Functioning Levels (NRS-EFLs), 65.8% of students progressed at least one level, and one student increased three levels.


In adult literacy settings class size can be small, attendance intermittent, and student turnover frequent. Therefore, in these settings, a six-month study can be considered longitudinal (Newman & Beverstock, 1990).

The following will review the effect of Reading Horizons in adult education settings. Outcomes from the use of the program in four separate facilities will be combined to extend perspective of the program’s effect. Combining outcomes is possible because the same tool was used to assess student progress. Gains in grade-level reading skills as measured by the Test of Adult Basic Education (TABE) will be reported.


Reading Horizons direct instruction materials, Reading Horizons interactive software, and dedicated program staff.


The TABE was administered prior to the start of Reading Horizons instruction. It was administered again at program completion. Grade-equivalent scores were reported by three of the four sites, whereas Site D reported numeric TABE scores. A comparison of sites was made possible by converting the grade-equivalent and numeric scores to the NRS-EFLs included in the scoring procedures for the TABE. However, based on this difference in scoring, Site D scores could not be included in the calculations of mean in the reported outcomes that follow.

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