Research Status – What Works Clearinghouse

State legislation related to dyslexia intervention often contains language mandating use of specific approaches or types of approaches.

The What Works Clearinghouse is an project of the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences. It reviews and evaluates research tied to specific school-based educational programs, tied to various criteria. You can use the links below to find more information, including the intervention reports issued for each program.

The page contains links to to reviews of research studies which meet  “Students with a Specific Learning Disability” protocols for literacy outcomes, including alphabetics, reading achievement, comprehension, reading fluency, and writing achievement.   This protocol focuses on interventions designed for use in a school-based setting with students in grades K–12 with a learning disability.  The protocols also require that research have been conducted in the U.S. and published in English.

For more detailed information about these protocols, see: 

Programs with Potentially Positive Effects

The programs listed below are supported by research evidence that the intervention had a positive effect on outcomes with no overriding contrary evidence.

Programs with Mixed Effects

These programs are supported by research evidence that the intervention had a positive effect on some outcomes  but a negative effect on others.

Programs with No Discernable Effects

These programs are supported by research, but the evidence did not show any benefit to the students receiving the program.

Programs with Insufficient Research

For the programs listed below, no studies falling within the scope of the Students with Learning Disabilities review protocol met What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) evidence standards. The lack of studies meeting WWC evidence standards means that the WWC was unable to draw any conclusions based on research about the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of these programs for students with learning disabilities.


This page last updated on Feb 13, 2018