High School Students With Reading Comprehension Difficulties: Results of a Randomized Control Trial of a Two-Year Reading Intervention


A 2-year, randomized control trial with 9th- to 10th-grade students with significant reading problems was provided for 50 minutes a day in small groups. Comparison students were provided an elective class and treatment students the reading intervention. Students identified as demonstrating reading difficulties through failure on their state accountability test and were randomly assigned to one of three treatment conditions—reading without dropout prevention, reading with dropout prevention, or dropout prevention without reading—or a business-as-usual condition. Students in reading treatment compared to students in business as usual demonstrated significant gains on reading comprehension (effect size = .43), and improved reading was associated with better grades in social studies. Findings from this study provide a rationale for further implementation and investigation of intensive intervention for high school students with reading difficulties.


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