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IES Grant

Title: Multiple-Component Remediation for Struggling Middle School Readers
Center: NCSER Year: 2006
Principal Investigator: Morris, Robin Awardee: Georgia State University
Program: Reading, Writing, and Language      [Program Details]
Award Period: 6/1/2006 to 5/31/2010 Award Amount: $2,882,630
Type: Efficacy and Replication Award Number: R324G060005

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to evaluate the efficacy of two multiple component reading interventions for middle school students with reading disabilities. Both programs address multiple sources of dysfluent reading, impaired reading comprehension, decoding, reading rate, and comprehension problems. However, the programs differ in that one includes a fluency component and the other includes a comprehension intervention component.

Project Activities: The project is designed to address the following research questions:

  1. Are the two interventions reliably superior to a "business as usual" condition on measures of decoding, word identification accuracy and speed, reading fluency, and text comprehension?
  2. What intervention is associated with superior reading outcomes and growth for disabled middle school readers: specific text comprehension or specific fluency training?
  3. Are student (e.g., motivation) and instructional group features associated with intervention response and long-term outcomes?

The researchers are examining the efficacy of the two interventions with 90 groups (4–8 students per group) of Grade 6–8 reading disabled students from 20 schools over 4 years. Students will be randomly assigned to one of the two interventions or a "business as usual" control group. Analyses will evaluate the three groups on reading outcomes that include decoding, word identification, word reading efficiency, reading fluency, and text comprehension. The researchers will also evaluate what instructional components of the multiple-component reading interventions are associated with superior reading outcomes and steeper learning curves for reading disabled students in Grades 6–8. Mediating and moderating variables that are associated with greater growth and superior outcomes following intervention will also be explored.

Products: The expected outcomes from this study include:

  1. Published reports on the results of the efficacy and replication trials of the two multiple component reading interventions for use with middle school students with reading disabilities, and
  2. Presentations on the differential effects of the two multiple component reading interventions on correlated outcomes measured over time.

Setting: Participating students will be from Georgia.

Population: Approximately 90 Groups (4–8 students/ group) in Grades 6 through 8 with a reading disability will participate. Students selected to participate will be pulled out and administered the intervention by a trained classroom teacher in a small group setting.

Intervention: Both reading interventions have two components: a phonological and strategy intervention called PHAST and either a Fluency or Comprehension focus. The PHAST Fluency program (PHAST Fluency) focuses on the acquisition of reading fluency using all levels of print; the Comprehension focus program (PHAST Comp) provides explicit instruction in aspects of text structure and teaches specific comprehension strategies for different texts. Both programs also include vocabulary instruction.

Research Design and Methods: Growth curve modeling will be used to evaluate whether the two interventions lead to superior growth rates compared to the "business as usual" condition and whether the two interventions improve a unique constellation of reading skills. Also, hierarchical linear models (HLM) will be used to examine whether students' growth rates are predicted from their instructional group. Latent growth curve models will also be used to evaluate whether fluency and comprehension instruction is predictive of growth rates on correlated outcome measures (e.g. TOWRE, GORT).

Control Condition: The control group will include students with a reading disability in grades 6–8 who will receive the schools selected reading curriculum.

Key Measures: The effects of the two reading interventions on students with a reading disability in grades 6–8 will be evaluated using a battery of commercial and non-commercial measures. Key pre-post intervention measures include, for example, Test of Word Reading Efficiency (TOWRE)- Sight Word Efficiency, Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement - Reading Fluency and Passage Comprehension Subtests, and the Standardized Reading Inventory-2. Participants will be assessed using the pre-post test measures before, mid-point, end of the intervention, and one year follow-up. Finally, data will be collected to examine both teacher and program delivery variables using an observation rating form.

Data Analytic Strategy: Quantitative data analysis techniques include longitudinal and multivariate methods to evaluate the efficacy and replicability of the interventions. Growth curve modeling will be used to model post-program outcomes, contrasting the two interventions with the control program and with each other. Latent growth curve modeling will also be used to assess differential effects of the two reading interventions on associated outcome measures over time.


Journal article, monograph, or newsletter

Frijters, J.C., Lovett, M.W., Sevcik, R.A., and Morris, R. (2013). Four Methods of Identifying Change in the Context of a Multiple Component Reading Intervention for Struggling Middle School Readers. Reading and Writing: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 26(4): 539–563. doi:10.1007/s11145–012–9418–z