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When recommending a program to achieve objectives such as improving learning outcomes for middle school students, school psychologists need information about cost effectiveness to identify the best fit for student needs and school budgets. However, few cost studies of evidence-based instructional programs exist. We compared the cost effectiveness of one such program, an intensified form of Promoting Adolescents’ Comprehension of Text (PACT), to typical instruction in eighth-grade social studies. The results indicated that, implemented in small classes of below-average readers, PACT is costlier and more effective than typical instruction. In typical-size classes, PACT would be more cost effective than typical instruction. Cost studies should be routine in efficacy research to better inform school leaders seeking to help learners raise their achievement within the confines of school budgetary considerations.

Note: This work led to Dr. Nancy Scammacca Lewis being selected for the journal's Scholar Spotlight.


Scammacca, N., Swanson, E., Vaughn, S., & Roberts, G. (2020). Cost-effectiveness of a grade 8 intensive reading and content learning intervention. School Psychology Review49(4), 374–385.

Related Institute

Related Project

Published Date


Funding Source

U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences


Content Area Instruction
Reading Instruction

Type of Resource

Journal Article/Book Chapter


General Education Classroom Teacher
School Administrator

Grade Level

Middle School