Early Intervention

Early Intervention

Closing the Literacy Achievement Gap With Early Intervention

Rodgers, E. M., Wang, C., & Gómez-Bellengé, F. X. (2004, April). Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Diego, CA

A statewide study compared students served by Reading Recovery (n=4,764) with a random sample (n=1,038). Students were disaggregated along economic and race lines. Students served by Reading Recovery are low readers by definition. Their progress was compared to the random sample from fall to spring of first grade. The progress of low readers who were African-American or who received free school lunches was compared to the progress of a sample representing the populations of students who were White or who paid full-priced school lunches.

Several broad trends emerged. First, a gap opened during first grade along race and economic lines on three measures for the random sample. This mirrors national trends. Second, for students who received a full series of Reading Recovery lessons, a gap existed in fall and remained in spring. However, these children made greater progress than the random sample on two of three measures and the effect sizes were reduced, suggesting a trend towards closing the gap. Third, for students who discontinued successfully from the Reading Recovery intervention, a gap existed in fall on all three measures. In spring, the gap was closed on two measures and reduction on the third.

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