By Sammi Plourde, NCSER Intern; Kristen Rhoads, NCSER Program Officer; and Becky McGill-Wilkinson, NCER Program Officer
IES-funded research by Dr. Compton and his colleagues was recently awarded the International Literacy Association’s (ILA) Albert J. Harris Award! ILA is an advocacy organization that publishes current research on literacy and provides resources for practitioners, students, and leaders involved in facilitating literacy development across the world. The Albert J. Harris Award is given annually to a recently published journal article or monograph that contributes to better understanding of prevention or measurement of learning disabilities or reading disabilities.
The winning article by Jennifer K. Gilbert, Donald L. Compton, Douglas Fuchs, Lynn S. Fuchs, Bobette Bouton, Laura A. Barquero, and Eunsoo Cho entitled “Efficacy of a First-Grade Responsiveness-to-Intervention Prevention Model for Struggling Readers,” features findings from a NCSER-funded measurement study focused on identifying and intervening with struggling readers as early as first grade. The article describes effects of intensive intervention within a multi-tiered prevention model. Struggling readers who were randomly assigned to receive an intensive, small-group intervention had better reading gains compared to students who received classroom instruction as usual. However, some students continued to struggle despite receiving the intensive intervention. Those students were then randomly assigned to receive the intensive intervention in a one-on-one format or to continue in a small-group format. Results indicated that no differences in performance existed between the two formats. They also found that more than half of the students who participated in the intervention failed to achieve average reading scores by the end of third grade. These findings suggest that students with persistent reading problems need intervention as early as possible that spans multiple years. They also suggest that instruction for the students should be tailored to meet individual needs.
Dr. Compton and his colleagues are continuing this research with IES. They were funded by NCER to conduct a follow-up research study to identify characteristics of children who begin elementary school with typical reading development but are then later identified as having a reading disability. This work will provide information on how to guide instruction for students who have these characteristics.
Congratulations to Dr. Compton and his colleagues for making such an important contribution to identifying, preventing, and treating reading disabilities!
Questions? Comments? Please send them to IESResearch@ed.gov.