Examining the Differences in Reading Performance Between Students Who Were Retained Versus Struggling Readers Promoted in Early Grades
AuthorPotter, Ashley McClung
AdvisorPerfect, Michelle M.
MetadataShow full item record
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, presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractBackground and Objectives: Research has shown that retention is not an effective form of intervention and can often delay identification of learning disabilities and increase chances for school dropout. Students can also be retained due to high stakes testing results, most states require students to pass the third grade state reading assessment in order to be promoted to fourth grade. Often students later diagnosed with learning disabilities have been retained. Curriculum based measures (CBMs) are used to help identify reading difficulties at earlier ages for the purposes of interventions. This study compared reading growth, second grade reading scores, and third grade state assessment outcomes between retained and promoted students. Methods: The current study utilized an existing data set from a school district in southern Arizona that uses CBMs to help identify students for interventions and identification through a Response to Intervention (RTI) process. The sample consisted of 176 students who had scores of <40 letter sounds in a minute on a kindergarten reading CBM. The main dependent variables were second grade oral reading fluency (ORF) score, second grade ORF growth, and third grade reading assessment level. Growth was calculated using a slope formula of spring score minus fall score divided by the number of weeks in between. Independent variables included retention status, special education status, sex, free and reduced lunch at the student’s school. Results: Analyses showed that the retained group (Mdn=22) scored significantly lower on letter sound fluency (LSF) than those promoted (Mdn=33), U=13.968, p<.000. In first grade, those who had been retained (Mdn=31) performed significantly lower than those who had not been retained (Mdn=49) on their Spring word identification fluency (WIF) score and were more likely to be in the frustrational range (<50 words in a minute) than expected by chance on the Spring administration U=10.520, p<.001. Further analysis showed that those who were retained (Mdn=33) did not score significantly different on the Fall ORF probe than those not retained (Mdn=34), U=.269, p=.604, two-tailed. Based on a linear regression, no significant differences were observed between the groups for second grade Spring ORF, F (3,172) =.671, p = .571, R2 = .012. Again using a linear regression, no significant contributions to second grade ORF growth were found, F(3,162) = 1.63, p = .185), R2= .029. Significant unique contributions were made by special education status and Spring ORF, 2(12, N= 92) = 82.020, Nagelkerke R2= .302, p = .004 using a multinomial regression model to determine risk factors for students falling into the Minimally Proficient category on the state assessment. Conclusion: Significant differences were observed between the retained and promoted groups in kindergarten and 1st grade. No observable differences were observed between the groups in second grade. Retention was not a significant contributor to third grade state assessment category; however, Spring ORF score was. At the end of second grade, 23 (13.06%) out of the original 176 continued to be in the frustrational range. Eleven out of these 23 students scored into the Minimally Proficient category on their state standardized assessment and all but one were identified as receiving special education services. Of the 36 students in the Minimally Proficient category on the state test, 18 were not identified as receiving special education services.
Degree ProgramGraduate College