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IES Grant

Title: Catch and Release: Predicting Maintenance of Tier 2 Reading Intervention Effects
Center: NCER Year: 2021
Principal Investigator: Klingbeil, David Awardee: University of Wisconsin, Madison
Program: Literacy      [Program Details]
Award Period: 4 years (07/01/2021 – 06/30/2025) Award Amount: $1,689,125
Type: Exploration Award Number: R305A210027

Co-Principal Investigators: Norman, Ethan Van; Parker, David; Nelson, Peter

Purpose: In this project, the research team will examine the extent to which students' pre-intervention literacy skills and their engagement during Tier 1 literacy instruction predict their (a) text reading fluency during a Tier 2 reading intervention and (b) text reading fluency after successfully exiting the Tier 2 intervention. Little attention has been paid to students' maintenance of reading intervention effects generally, particularly for students who are initially successful but identified as needing additional support during a later benchmarking period. If facilitators of intervention maintenance are  identified, educators could better align the intervention to the critical component reading skills that predict students' post-intervention maintenance or ensure the environment is structured to provide sufficient opportunities to practice text reading during Tier 1 instruction. The results will provide needed information regarding the relationship between students' pre-intervention skills, their engagement during Tier 1 instruction, and their text reading fluency growth during and after a Tier 2 reading fluency intervention.

Project Activities: This project will take place in 12 to 14 elementary schools in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area. The research team will use a correlational design to answer the research questions. Participants will include approximately 600 students in second and third grade who are receiving a Tier 2 reading fluency intervention provided by the Minnesota Reading Corps. The research team will collect additional diagnostic information, before and after the intervention, regarding participants' component reading skills (e.g., comprehension, word reading fluency) that promote text reading fluency. They will also conduct direct observations of participants' academic engagement during Tier 1 literacy instruction. Finally, the team will conduct two observations of Tier 1 instruction in each participating classroom to collect data regarding the time allotted to different reading skills and instructional groupings used. They will use hierarchical linear modeling to evaluate the extent to which the predictors of interest moderate students' text reading fluency during and after the intervention.

Products: The research team will disseminate results to stakeholders in the partnering schools and stakeholders in the Reading Corps program that currently provides Tier 2 interventions to students in more than 350 school districts in 12 states and Washington, DC. They will publish results in peer reviewed journals that publish research on remedial academic interventions and present results to practitioners and researchers at a variety of state and national conferences. Deidentified data and R-code for all analyses will be made available to the public on a project website hosted by the Wisconsin Center for Educational Research.

Structured Abstract

Setting: Project activities will occur in suburban and urban elementary schools in Minnesota.

Sample: MRC tutors will identify eligible students based on their text reading rate and accuracy.  The research team will recruit approximately 150 participants in second and third grade during each year of the project (n = 600). Participants are primarily White (41%), followed by Black or African American (31%), Latinx (18%), Asian (8%), Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islanders (1%), Multi-Race (1%), and American Indian (< 1%). Approximately 25% will be designated as English learners.

Factors: The research team will collect information regarding participants decoding, word reading, reading comprehension, reading vocabulary, and listening comprehension skills before and after the intervention. They will conduct systematic direct observations to measure participants' academic engagement during Tier 1 literacy instruction. Finally, researchers will conduct observations of the Tier 1literacy instruction in each participating classroom. These observations will measure the time devoted to core areas of reading (e.g., decoding, text reading, comprehension) and the instructional groupings used throughout the literacy block.

Control condition: Due to the nature of the project, there is no control condition.

Intervention: All participants will participate in a Tier 2 intervention (100 total minutes per week) that targets text reading fluency. Interventions include modeling of fluent reading, repeated readings of connected text (at the instructional level), and structured corrective feedback.

Research Design and Methods: The research team will use a non-experimental design to evaluate the association between participants' pre-literacy skills, engagement during Tier 1 instruction, and text reading fluency during the Tier 2 intervention and post-Tier 2 intervention. The team will combine data collected in Year 1 and Year 2 to conduct initial analyses (n = 300). In addition, researchers will combine data collected in Year 3 and Year 4 to attempt to replicate the initial findings (n = 300).

Measures: The research team will collect participants' text reading fluency using FAST CBMreading probes. They will use the Group Reading Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation to collect information regarding students' reading comprehension, vocabulary, and listening comprehension skills. Researchers will use the Test of Word Reading Efficiency–2 to measure students decoding and word reading fluency. In addition, they will use a modified version of the Behavior Observation System in Schools to collect data on participants' engagement during Tier 1 literacy instruction and the number of opportunities students had to read connected text orally. Finally, they will use an adapted version of the Instructional Content Emphasis–Revised to collect data regarding Tier 1 literacy instruction. These observations will focus on the amount of instructional time devoted to different domains of reading within the Tier 1 literacy block.

Data Analytic Strategy: The research team will use a series of multilevel models to explore the extent to which the predictors moderate growth in text reading fluency during the receipt of a Tier 2 reading intervention, and after students exit the intervention. Participants' weekly text reading fluency scores will be the dependent variable. Data regarding participants' pre-intervention literacy and engagement during Tier 1 instruction will be entered in level 2. Finally, they will explore the impact of the amount of time during the Tier 1 literacy devoted to different component areas of reading at level 3.