Please fill out this short user survey of only 3 questions in order to help us improve the site. We appreciate your feedback!
Reading and learning in Middle School
Last registered on December 23, 2016


Trial Information
General Information
Reading and learning in Middle School
Initial registration date
December 23, 2016
Last updated
December 23, 2016 8:24 AM EST
Primary Investigator
Paris School of Economics
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
University of Grenoble
PI Affiliation
University of Grenoble
PI Affiliation
University of Grenoble
Additional Trial Information
On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
In France, only 30% of 6th grade students iare expert readers, while 56% are slow readers and 14% have serious difficulties reading. In PISA 2012, reading comprehension is an issue for 18.9% of 15 year old students. Reading is key to success in school; however, in France, very little is done after 5th grade to improve reading skills because teachers are nor sensitized nor trained to these difficulties; struggling readers are not even routinely spotted. We use a randomized experiment to investigate the impacts of reading workshops to develop fluency and comprehension skill on poor readers’ outcomes. Every 6th grade student is tested at the beginning of the year to spot students with reading or comprehension difficulties and create the target group in every school. Only target students are then offered the workshops. We estimate impacts on reading skills of target students but also on achievements in other skills. We also estimate peer effects.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Bianco, Maryse et al. 2016. "Reading and learning in Middle School." AEA RCT Registry. December 23. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.1865-1.0.
Former Citation
Bianco, Maryse et al. 2016. "Reading and learning in Middle School." AEA RCT Registry. December 23. http://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/1865/history/12810.
Experimental Details
The intervention consists in giving the teachers who volunteer (whatever their main discipline is) the tools to teach explicitly how to read fluently and to improve reading comprehension to 6th grade students with low reading skills at baseline. Fluency workshops are based on repeated text readings; comprehension workshop use a computer based tutorial called TACIT. Every student participates in 12 one hour workshops on fluency, and 24 one hour workshops on comprehension. Group size is respectively 4 and 16.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Students’ reading skills: fluency and comprehension; Students’ motivation and self-efficiency assessment at reading; Student's skills in mathematics, history and geography; Administrative outcomes (such as disciplinary sanctions, delays, depending on availability); teachers and parent’s feedbacks on student’s reading skills.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
We recruit volunteer schools during the year before implementation. The number of children that wil receive the program has to be 12, 24 or 32: that size is defined ex ante based on school size. Schools are then allocated to treatment and control, based on a stratified randomization (using school size, number of means-tested scholarships, national exam performance and rural/ruban). At the beginning of the academic year, all 6th grade students (with parents’ consent) are tested with a fluency and a comprehension test. Target groups are formed using the pre-defined sizes and the test scores, so as to select the lower performing students. Only target students in treatment schools are offered the workshops during the implementation year. Target students and a sample of other students are tested at the end of the academic year in treatment and control schools. Control schools are offered the program next year, but they shouldn't treat their former 6th graders, so as to allow for longer-term follow up.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer.
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Target is 50-80 schools, depending on budget and school interest.
Sample size: planned number of observations
5000 to 8000 6th grade students, of which 1500-2400 target students.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
25-40 schools by treatment arm.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
MDE targeted around 25% of a SD (effect size).
IRB Name
IRB PSE-Ecole d'économie de Paris
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Is the intervention completed?
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
Program Files
Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials
Relevant Paper(s)