School Psychology Review

Reading Fluency as a Predictor of Reading Proficiency in Low-Performing, High-Poverty Schools

Scott K. Baker, Keith Smolkowski, Rachell Katz, Hank Fien, John R. Seeley, Edward J. Kame'enui, Carrie Thomas Beck

pp. 18-37

Special Topic: Promoting Academic Competence for Underserved Students

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Abstract. The purpose of this study was to examine oral reading fluency (ORF) in the context of a large-scale federal reading initiative conducted in low performing,high poverty schools. The objectives were to (a) investigate the relation between ORF and comprehensive reading tests, (b) examine whether slope of performance over time on ORF predicted performance on comprehensive reading tests over and above initial level of performance, and (c) test how well various models of ORF and performance on high stakes reading tests in Year 1 predicted performance on high-stakes reading tests in Year 2. Subjects were four cohorts of students in Grades 1–3, with each cohort representing approximately 2,400students. Results support the use of ORF in the early grades to screen students for reading problems and monitor reading growth over time. The use of ORF in reading reform and implications for school psychologists are discussed.