TITLE

A Longitudinal Study of Kindergarten Children At Risk for Reading Disabilities: The Poor Really Are Getting Poorer

AUTHOR(S)
McNamara, John K.; Scissons, Mary; Gutknecth, Naomi
PUB. DATE
September 2011
SOURCE
Journal of Learning Disabilities;Sep2011, Vol. 44 Issue 5, p421
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Over the past decade, educators and researchers concerned about children with reading disabilities have called for widespread adoption of early identification tools and early effective programming. This call may be the result of, in part, what Stanovich calls “Matthew effects in reading.” That is, when stakeholders delay identification and support for young children struggling to read, the variance of individual differences in reading will inevitably increase, creating a widening of the gap between strong and struggling readers. In this longitudinal study, reading achievement data from 382 children were collected as they progressed from kindergarten through Grade 3. In kindergarten, children were screened with a battery of phonological awareness measures. Percentile rank scores were collected, and children were identified as having poor, average, or strong phonological awareness. As children moved through Grades 1, 2, and 3, reading-based data were collected in the spring of each year. Results indicated that, in general, as children progressed from kindergarten to Grade 3, those in lower ranks of reading achievement were likely to remain in the lower ranks, and furthermore, at each progressing data collection point struggling readers fell further behind their grade-level reading peers. In other words, as each year passed the variance between strong and struggling readers increased significantly. The authors hypothesized that this finding is consistent with the “Matthew effect”—the rich were getting richer while the poor were getting poorer.
ACCESSION #
65152014

 

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