School Psychology Review

Response to Intervention for Middle School Students With Reading Difficulties: Effects of a Primary and Secondary Intervention

Sharon Vaughn, Paul T. Cirino, Jeanne Wanzek, Jade Wexler, Jack M. Fletcher, Carolyn D. Denton, Amy Barth, Melissa Romain, and David J. Francis

pp. 3-21

General Issue

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Abstract. This study examined the effectiveness of a yearlong, researcher-provided, Tier 2 (secondary) intervention with a group of sixth-graders. The intervention emphasized word recognition, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. Participants scored below a proficiency level on their state accountability test and were compared to a similar group of struggling readers receiving school-provided instruction. All students received the benefits of content area teachers who participated in researcher-provided professional development designed to integrate vocabulary and comprehension practices throughout the school day (Tier 1). Students who participated in the Tier 2 intervention showed gains on measures of decoding, fluency, and comprehension, but differences relative to students in the comparison group were small (median d = +0.16). Students who received the researcher-provided intervention scored significantly higher than students who received comparison intervention on measures of word attack, spelling, the state accountability measure, passage comprehension, and phonemic decoding efficiency, although most often in particular subgroups.