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Reading Recovery: A Scientifically Based Analysis - page 4 / 21





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began, who qualified, how many were discontinued were not provided, therefore the

bigger context is lacking to determine the validity of the analysis.

An evaluation study of a four year RR program in Lincoln Public Schools

(Walker, 1999) that dealt with the implementation of the RR program, its immediate

effects, and its sustained effects compared the status of discontinued students to that of a

random sample of students from the same schools and a sample of low-achieving

students from schools not offering the program. The percentage of reading success for

students increased over the four years of the program from 43.6 to 82.9 as measured by

the Metropolitan Achievement Test (MAT). The percent of those students eligible for

services who discontinued has increased from 16.7 to 60.8. The percent of students who

had a full program but were not dismissed, but had not discontinued, decreased from 43.6

to 2.0 percent. The percent of eligible students who had a full program but did not

discontinue decreased from 16.7 to 1.5 percent. On the best single measure of reading

success (text reading level) the discontinued students continued to score higher than a

random sample of students from the same schools. The sustained effects of the program,

reflected in the students’ performance on the Metropolitan Achievement Test (MAT) and

receiving special education services, were mixed. In the MAT the discontinued students

did not achieve as well as the random sample of students. On the other hand, the

percentage of discontinued students who received special education services was only

three points higher than for the random sample of students and a great deal lower than the

percentage for low reading students who did not have the program available. This

carefully prepared evaluation and the individual four-year annual reports represent a

sound methodology and scientifically based design and study.

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