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Reading Recovery: A Scientifically Based Analysis - page 9 / 21

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better students who finish the program (Hiebert, 1994; Shanahan & Barr, 1995; Snow,

Burns, & Griffin, 1998).

Some children (10 to 30%) cannot be discontinued, even after 60 lessons, which

means that many never actually complete the program. Another small percentage are

either referred to special education or are not counted as having completed the program,

even when they have completed a substantial number of lessons. Finally, some children

are not counted because they move from the school or their attendance is poor. The

number of those with poor attendance and high mobility is substantial, particularly in

large urban areas. It follows that there will continue to be a need to maintain alternative

special education services to support the learning of children unable to profit from a

program such as Reading Recovery. Moreover, district-wide policies and programs may

need to be developed for transient and truant students.

Children who complete RR and return to class do not continue to learn at the

same rate as average children in the class, but seem to immediately begin falling behind

again (DeFord, Pinnel, Lyons, and Place, 1990; Glynn, Crooks, Bethune, Ballard, and

Smith, 1989; Shanahan and Barr, 1995). The learning rate of returned RR children was

slower than that of other low-achieving children (Glynn, Crooks, Bethune, Ballard, and

Smith, 1989). Battelle (1995) found that only 53% of the children eligible for RR scored

at the classroom average on the book level measure at the end of first grade.

With regard to policy, the possibility that some children who participate in the

program may need additional support in subsequent years cannot be discounted on the

basis of evidence. This means that shifting all resources for remediation to first grade

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