The John Corcoran Foundation Inc. was established 25 years ago (on July 11, 1997), as a non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating illiteracy and sub-literacy not only through teaching adults and children how to read, but also through training teachers in how to most effectively teach reading. After years of travel and interaction with multiple literacy groups, we chose EBLI as our partner in literacy training.
John Corcoran was officially assigned the title "The Honorable John Corcoran” after being nominated by President Bush to service on the NIFL board and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Today, John serves as a board member for the San Diego Council on Literacy. But, the most salient aspect of John Corcoran’s leadership is his character. When asked whether his achievements as a businessman and educator suggest that literacy is not necessary for success, he responded, "Think how much more I could have done if I had learned to read earlier." With that core value, he is an inspiration to all. John’s national advocacy continues today and he is increasingly sought after to talk about his remarkable story of his triumph over illiteracy and sub-literacy.
Supplemental Education Services
Since 2003, the JCF has tutored thousands of students in the Supplemental Education Services (SES) Title I federal grant program using research-based programs to build student reading competency. The JCF was state approved to provide SES services in California, Colorado and Nevada. In 2010, JCF began tutoring students in mathematics. Students in the JCF online programs work one-on-one with qualified tutors. Online students were provided with a computer and internet service, which becomes a learning center in their home. When online students complete the program, JCF gave the computer to the family. Students in our in-school programs work in small tutor—led groups of no more than 5 students. Most students received instruction via well-known software programs like Lexia, Reading Plus and Math Edge. All students received individualized instruction using well-known research-based programs like Evidence Based Literacy Instruction (EBLI). Students and tutors work together for 1 to 3 hours, 2-4 times per week. Students complete 20-25 program hours in the online programs and 30-42 hours in the in-school programs. Individual student learning goals were developed using assessment results and state standards. Nationally respected assessments, like the Woodcock Johnson III: Tests of Achievement and AIMSweb are used to measure student progress.
Beginning with the 2012/2013 school year, the JCF offered teacher training in literacy to public and private schools in Colorado and California. The program included several days of group training coupled with individual mentoring throughout the school year.
Effectiveness is John Corcoran's hallmark objective because it was the wall his own childhood education could not penetrate. Year after year, he was passed through classrooms of under-equipped or under-evaluated teachers, until he learned to survive academia in other ways. His athleticism and social savvy replaced the basic ability to read and write, ultimately taking him through college and receiving a California Teaching Credential. John started JCF to prevent others from experiencing what he did. As JCF’s President and CE0, he personally selected and approved research-based curriculum, infusing it with the multi-sensory principles he discovered as a beneficiary of Lindamood-Bell methods. Not wanting poverty to stand in the way of access to instruction, he added a vital component of learning by providing refurbished computers and internet access to homes of learners.
John Corcoran knows that a computer in the home means all generations are watching the computer screen and learning. Most of these Title One families received access to the “information highway” in their homes for the first time from the JCF.
JCF evaluates effectiveness in three ways: test scores, enrollment growth, and feedback from objective academic institutions. Student progress and assessment results are reviewed by three individuals: a program director, the student's lead teacher, and the student's tutor. Plus, an information technology specialist evaluates student and tutor participation. Results are reported to families, school districts and providers of funding, among others. The Foundation has produced voluminous pages illustrating student achievement results. For example, students gain an average of three grade levels of improvement after 20 hours of online instruction in reading word attack skills, based on the Woodcock Word Attack Assessment Test. Online math students gain an average of 7 months over the course of three months, based on the Diagnostic Online Mathematics Assessment.
Growth in the number of participating school districts is another indicator of effectiveness. In 2008, three California districts were served by JCF. By 2012, the number rose to nine California school districts, plus five in Colorado. In total, approximately 3,000 students have received direct instruction by JCF.
Feedback from credible academic institutions is another way JCF effectiveness is measured. The Colorado Department of Education provides JCF with annual results of programs, applicable to JCF participants in California as well. According to its Student Growth Percentile measure, which evaluates effectiveness by program, JCF ranked 1st of all Supplemental Education Service programs, with its student growth percentile of 67. This means that students who received JCF tutoring scored better than 67% of peers with similar scores the year before.
The mission of the John Corcoran Foundation, Inc. is to facilitate the prevention and eradication of illiteracy and sub-literacy in adults and children across America, through public awareness, creation and dissemination of resources, and training and mentoring through existing literacy organizations and educational programs.
The John Corcoran Foundation believes children and adults who can't read are unable to participate in many ways in their communities and are even limited in their daily lives. Every day, as the New Voice of Literacy in America, we teach people to read using effective, proven methods because there is no one who can't learn to read.
We are mission-driven, servant leaders with courageous spirit.