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Reading Recovery Continues to Help Students Reach Reading Proficiency

October 20, 2006

By Dr. Salli Forbes, Reading Recovery Trainer and Teacher Leader

In 2005-2006, thirteen school districts in the Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency provided Reading Recovery intervention to 215 first grade students. All of the students (100%) made progress in reading and writing and 145 (68%) successfully reached grade level expectations.

Every year there are some students who do not complete the intervention, either because they move or because the school year ends before they can complete the intervention. Students in both of those situations are included in the total number of students served (above results). Considering only the 182 students who completed the full intervention (up to 20 weeks of daily instruction), 80% successfully reached grade level expectations.

The outstanding results at Mississippi Bend AEA in 2005-2006 are not unusual. The site has had similar results every year. Furthermore, the state of Iowa and national results are also similar to the results from MBAEA. This consistency of results demonstrates the reliability of Reading Recovery as a reading and writing intervention.

Reading Recovery not only closes the gap for the lowest achieving students, but it also closes the gap for minority students and students with low socio-economic status as well (Rodgers, Wang & Gomez-Bellengé, 2004). Students who complete the Reading Recovery intervention continue to make very good progress with classroom instruction alone. The Iowa Study of Sustained Effects of Reading Recovery found that up to 75% of these students continued to perform within or above the average band of students in their schools on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills in Comprehension, Vocabulary and Total Reading through fifth grade.

Reading Recovery is supported by scientifically-based reading research, meeting the U.S. Department of Education’s criteria. To access the report on the scientifically based reading research that supports Reading Recovery go to http://www.readingrecovery.org/sections/research/6SBRRStudies.pdf at the Reading Recovery Council of North America website.

Reading Recovery is a sound investment in the literacy futures of struggling readers and writers. Richard Allington succinctly states, “If evidence—scientific research evidence—was the true standard for decisions, then Reading Recovery and other tutoring interventions would be available for every child who could benefit from them.” (p. 10)

For further information about Reading Recovery at Mississippi Bend AEA, please contact: Salli Forbes, Reading Recovery Trainer and Teacher Leader, at sforbes@aea9.k12.ia.us (563) 344-6311 or Maggie VanFossen, Reading Recovery Site Coordinator, at mvanfossen@aea9.k12.ia.us (563) 344-6390.

References:
Allington, R.L. (2005). How much evidence is enough evidence? The Journal of Reading Recovery, 4(2), 8-11.
Forbes, S. & Szymczuk, M. (2004). The Iowa Study of Sustained Effects of Reading Recovery. Technical Report published at the University of Iowa.
Rodgers, E.M., Wang, C. & Gomez-Bellengé, F.X. (2004). Closing the literacy achievement gap with early intervention. Paper presented at the American Education Research Association, San Diego, CA.

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