The Relationship Between Reading Fluency Intervention and the Need for Special Education Referrals
AuthorPolcyn, Dawn M.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractStudents are often referred for special education evaluations following teacher generated referrals. These referrals indicate observable poor academic progress, although often there is no indication of the cause of the poor performance as well as no indication of remediation attempts prior to a special education referral. Students who demonstrate reading difficulties struggle in nearly all areas due to the dependence on reading that permeates all academic classes. Poor reading abilities are a prominent concern in schools and one of the primary reasons for special education referrals (NAEP, 2007). The purpose of this study was to determine whether effectively implementing a reading fluency intervention prior to referring a student for a special education evaluation led to fewer overall special education referrals as well as more accurate special education referrals. Results of this study indicated that the implementation of a reading intervention did significantly decrease the number of overall special education referrals that were made. The students who were referred for special education following participation in the intervention program were also more likely to qualify for special education services compared to students who had not participated in the intervention program. Additional student characteristics that were explored included sex, work habits, attendance rates and socioeconomic status (SES). Results indicated that work habits and sex did not significantly affect the rate of teacher referral for special education evaluations. Poor attendance did have a significant relationship on special education referral rates, indicating that students with poor attendance were more likely to be considered in need of special education support. SES was found to have a significant relationship to special education referrals over the length of the study as well as during the pre-intervention period, but did not have a significant impact on special education referrals during the intervention period.
Degree ProgramGraduate College