Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Holt, Janet K.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations


Reading (Primary)--Illinois; Reading--Remedial teaching--Illinois


The importance of literacy in an age of global economic competitiveness cannot be overstated. Educational accountability has become a major issue as public interest in academic achievement, particularly reading, has increased in recent years. As educators have searched for early literacy interventions that are preventative rather than compensatory, Reading Recovery has become a widely used program. This study examines the reading growth trajectories of 36 Reading Recovery students who were considered by program criteria to be successful and determines whether a measurable and lasting change in reading behavior had occurred. The reading growth trajectories of average grade-level peers and similar-needy students were also compared to those of the Reading Recovery students to determine how similar the groups were in terms of reading achievement growth across time. The similar-needy group (students who also exhibited reading difficulties in first grade but had not received the Reading Recovery program) demonstrated a growth curve quite similar to that of the Reading Recovery students. Hierarchical Linear Modeling was utilized in individual growth curve analysis. Reading comprehension subtest scores from the Stanford Achievement Test-9 across six years were used in the analysis. Stratified random sampling was used to correct for the bias inherent in the nonequivalent groups design. Analysis of the data revealed that Reading Recovery students did experience acceleration in reading growth that was greater initially than that of the average grade-level peer group. However, the acceleration was not adequate to allow Reading Recovery students to reach parity with the average grade-level peer group at any time. Significant deceleration of growth also was noted in the Reading Recovery group data, resulting in a diminishment of growth rate through sixth grade. Additionally, the strikingly similar growth patterns between the Reading Recovery students and the similar-needy group poses a question regarding the efficacy of the program.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [120]-131)


ix, 143 pages




Northern Illinois University

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