First-Grade Student Retention Within a 3-Tier Reading Framework


First-grade students from six Title I schools participated in this study, which used a response to intervention (RTI) framework to examine the retention of first-grade students. Researchers examined reading and behavior data from three cohorts of students (one historical control cohort and two cohorts receiving tiered reading instruction) and data from interviews with school principals. The researchers (a) identified a change in the retention rate of first-grade students, (b) synthesized principals’ perceptions of the retention decision-making process, and (c) compared reading and behavior outcomes of students retained after RTI implementation to those of students retained using a more “traditional” school framework. The retention rate of first-grade students decreased by 47% after RTI was implemented. Data suggest student behavior, oral reading rates, and other individual school variables (as principals identified) as possible factors contributing to the retention of students.


Murray, C. S., Woodruff, A. L., & Vaughn, S. (2009). First-grade student retention within a 3-tier reading framework. Reading & Writing Quarterly, 26, 26–50. doi:10.1080/10573560903396934