School Psychology Review

From Research to Practice: Promoting Academic Competence for Underserved Students

Edward S. Shapiro

pp. 46-51

Special Topic: Promoting Academic Competence for Underserved Students

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Over many decades, the efforts of researchers to understand key issues in the reading performance of those children most at risk for developing later reading problems has been relentless (e.g., Gersten & Dimino, 2006;Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998). During the past several years, since the National Reading Panel released its findings and recommendations(National Institute of Child Health and Human Development [NICHD], 2000) and the NO Child Left Behind legislation established lofty goals for student achievement, federally funded programs to improve reading performance through Reading First and Early Reading First have been initiated. As a result, many efforts in the research literature have focused on understanding assessment processes that can identify at the earliest ages those children whose paths to academic success in reading and language development must be altered to avoid long-term failure in learning to read.The three studies related to the special topic of this issue are consistent with these themes and move the literature significantly forward toward a fuller understanding of how we can best identify children at young ages whose difficulties in reading and language development may be leading to problematic outcomes.Consistent with my own views, these studies attack the “big problems” in education and school psychology (Shapiro, 2000).