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The effects on the overall literacy scores reported in table 6 appear not to be driven by the score in any particular subtask. Table 7 shows treatment effects of the Tip and FTTTG programs for the various subtasks of Circle-3 language and literacy skills assessment test: (1) rapid letter naming, (2) rapid vocabulary, and (3) phonological awareness. Phonological awareness in turn can further be disaggregated into: (4) rhyming, (5) alliteration, and (6) syllabication. We report estimates across quarters of the Circle-1 literacy scores. Estimates for the full Circle-3 sample (not shown) are close to zero and statistically insignificant.24 We only find a significant negative effect for the Tip program for children in the lowest quarter on phonological awareness in comparison to the original program, which, in turn, appears to be driven by rhyming and syllabication. The remainder of subtasks in the lowest quarter have negative, but small and statistically insignificant point estimates. The literacy gains of children in the higher two middle quarters appear to be driven by rapid vocabulary naming, alliteration, and syllabication. However, the majority of treatment effects on scores in the different subtasks are not significantly different from each other within a given quarter. Therefore, we ultimately cannot distinguish whether a text message with one activity had differential effects on different literacy skills compared to three texts per week. The effects of the FTTTG program on the subtasks are mostly statistically insignificant with a few marginally significant exceptions.

Table 7.

Treatment Effects on Circle-3 Language and Literacy Skills Assessment Test by Specific Sub-tests (standardized)

TipFTTTGFTG Mean and SDAdjusted R2N
(1) Rapid letter naming Quarter 1 −0.077 0.060 29.53 0.35 715 
 (lowest) (0.092) (0.092) (14.20)   
 Quarter 2 0.087 −0.044 30.00 0.37 728 
  (0.084) (0.075) (12.13)   
 Quarter 3 0.086 0.049 30.90 0.32 735 
  (0.085) (0.085) (12.18)   
 Quarter 4 0.016 −0.065 37.58 0.33 742 
 (highest) (0.074) (0.073) (11.21)   
(2) Rapid vocabulary naming Quarter 1 −0.107 −0.018 18.72 0.47 715 
 (lowest) (0.086) (0.078) (8.26)   
 Quarter 2 0.142** 0.154* 18.89 0.44 728 
 Quarter 2 (0.065) (0.081) (8.14)   
 Quarter 3 0.068 −0.004 20.29 0.38 735 
 Quarter 3 (0.072) (0.069) (7.20)   
 Quarter 4 0.029 −0.019 23.67 0.41 742 
 (highest) (0.085) (0.072) (8.12)   
(3) Phonological awarenessa Quarter 1 −0.270*** −0.204* 18.44 0.30 715 
 (lowest) (0.093) (0.108) (4.72)   
 Quarter 2 0.124 0.036 18.71 0.27 728 
 Quarter 2 (0.084) (0.100) (4.50)   
 Quarter 3 0.179** 0.106 19.40 0.23 735 
 Quarter 3 (0.090) (0.080) (3.85)   
 Quarter 4 −0.038 −0.103 21.78 0.25 742 
 (highest) (0.068) (0.067) (3.62)   
(4) Rhyming Quarter 1 −0.322*** −0.222* 6.72 0.16 715 
 (lowest) (0.108) (0.127) (1.94)   
 Quarter 2 0.093 −0.034 6.86 0.15 728 
 Quarter 2 (0.105) (0.102) (1.87)   
 Quarter 3 0.041 0.044 7.02 0.15 735 
 Quarter 3 (0.108) (0.086) (1.80)   
 Quarter 4 −0.060 −0.151* 7.80 0.13 742 
 (highest) (0.083) (0.086) (1.43)   
(5) Alliteration Quarter 1 −0.103 −0.028 5.07 0.23 715 
 (lowest) (0.095) (0.107) (1.70)   
 Quarter 2 0.196** 0.101 5.09 0.20 728 
 Quarter 2 (0.088) (0.104) (1.64)   
 Quarter 3 0.162 0.132 5.35 0.17 735 
 Quarter 3 (0.101) (0.085) (1.55)   
 Quarter 4 0.003 −0.045 6.10 0.20 742 
 (highest) (0.070) (0.073) (1.26)   
(6) Syllabication Quarter 1 −0.200* −0.229* 5.69 0.23 715 
 (lowest) (0.105) (0.126) (1.91)   
 Quarter 2 −0.014 −0.033 5.69 0.18 728 
 Quarter 2 (0.090) (0.108) (1.68)   
 Quarter 3 0.185** 0.057 5.87 0.12 735 
 Quarter 3 (0.083) (0.089) (1.61)   
 Quarter 4 −0.018 −0.030 6.37 0.14 742 
 (highest) (0.073) (0.081) (1.27)   
TipFTTTGFTG Mean and SDAdjusted R2N
(1) Rapid letter naming Quarter 1 −0.077 0.060 29.53 0.35 715 
 (lowest) (0.092) (0.092) (14.20)   
 Quarter 2 0.087 −0.044 30.00 0.37 728 
  (0.084) (0.075) (12.13)   
 Quarter 3 0.086 0.049 30.90 0.32 735 
  (0.085) (0.085) (12.18)   
 Quarter 4 0.016 −0.065 37.58 0.33 742 
 (highest) (0.074) (0.073) (11.21)   
(2) Rapid vocabulary naming Quarter 1 −0.107 −0.018 18.72 0.47 715 
 (lowest) (0.086) (0.078) (8.26)   
 Quarter 2 0.142** 0.154* 18.89 0.44 728 
 Quarter 2 (0.065) (0.081) (8.14)   
 Quarter 3 0.068 −0.004 20.29 0.38 735 
 Quarter 3 (0.072) (0.069) (7.20)   
 Quarter 4 0.029 −0.019 23.67 0.41 742 
 (highest) (0.085) (0.072) (8.12)   
(3) Phonological awarenessa Quarter 1 −0.270*** −0.204* 18.44 0.30 715 
 (lowest) (0.093) (0.108) (4.72)   
 Quarter 2 0.124 0.036 18.71 0.27 728 
 Quarter 2 (0.084) (0.100) (4.50)   
 Quarter 3 0.179** 0.106 19.40 0.23 735 
 Quarter 3 (0.090) (0.080) (3.85)   
 Quarter 4 −0.038 −0.103 21.78 0.25 742 
 (highest) (0.068) (0.067) (3.62)   
(4) Rhyming Quarter 1 −0.322*** −0.222* 6.72 0.16 715 
 (lowest) (0.108) (0.127) (1.94)   
 Quarter 2 0.093 −0.034 6.86 0.15 728 
 Quarter 2 (0.105) (0.102) (1.87)   
 Quarter 3 0.041 0.044 7.02 0.15 735 
 Quarter 3 (0.108) (0.086) (1.80)   
 Quarter 4 −0.060 −0.151* 7.80 0.13 742 
 (highest) (0.083) (0.086) (1.43)   
(5) Alliteration Quarter 1 −0.103 −0.028 5.07 0.23 715 
 (lowest) (0.095) (0.107) (1.70)   
 Quarter 2 0.196** 0.101 5.09 0.20 728 
 Quarter 2 (0.088) (0.104) (1.64)   
 Quarter 3 0.162 0.132 5.35 0.17 735 
 Quarter 3 (0.101) (0.085) (1.55)   
 Quarter 4 0.003 −0.045 6.10 0.20 742 
 (highest) (0.070) (0.073) (1.26)   
(6) Syllabication Quarter 1 −0.200* −0.229* 5.69 0.23 715 
 (lowest) (0.105) (0.126) (1.91)   
 Quarter 2 −0.014 −0.033 5.69 0.18 728 
 Quarter 2 (0.090) (0.108) (1.68)   
 Quarter 3 0.185** 0.057 5.87 0.12 735 
 Quarter 3 (0.083) (0.089) (1.61)   
 Quarter 4 −0.018 −0.030 6.37 0.14 742 
 (highest) (0.073) (0.081) (1.27)   

Notes: All regressions include controls for student characteristics (age, gender, race/ethnicity, and low socioeconomic status), parent characteristics (age and highest educational attainment), teacher characteristics (gender, race/ethnicity, years of experience, and hours of absence used), and preschool site fixed effects. Standard errors are clustered at the preschool site level. The omitted reference group in all regressions is the original texting program of three texts per week (i.e., FTG program). Quarters are based on student's Circle-1 tests prior to the intervention. FTTTG = FACT-TIP-TIP-TIP-GROWTH; FTG = FACT-TIP-GROWTH.

aPhonological awareness is a composite score of the following assessments: rhyming, alliteration, and syllabication. Means and standard deviations (SD) are calculated from the underlying nonstandardized measures.

*p < 0.10; **p < 0.05; ***p < 0.01.

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