Academic progress of selected middle school students after release from remedial reading programs

Martha Mary Magner, Fordham University


This study examined the relationship between remedial instruction and future achievement in four academic subjects for remedial students in five school districts located in the suburbs north and west of New York City. Forty-one remedial students in grades 6, 7, and 8 who had received remedial reading services from 2 to 5 years were matched by scores on a standardized reading test with 41 students who had never received remedial services. The data were analyzed using: (a) t-test analyses to compare the academic achievement of remedial and nonremedial groups separately for English, Social Studies, Science, and Mathematics matched by grade level and by standardized test scores; (b) analyses of covariance to determine whether there was a significant relationship between academic grades and the variables of sex and the number of years in remediation; (c) examination of the academic grade means and standard deviations by school districts for remedial and nonremedial students by subject area; (d) tabulation and examination of the answers to the interview questions to determine the characteristics of the various remedial programs. The analyses of the data indicated that while a large number of the remedial students achieved passing grades in the four subject areas, their grades were generally lower than those of the nonremedial students. There was a significant difference only in English grades between the remedial and nonremedial students with the remedial students achieving the lower grades. The analyses of covariance indicated a significant interaction between years of remediation and academic grades in English. There was no significant interaction between gender and academic grades in any of the four subject areas. In order to determine the nature of the remedial programs in which the students had been placed, the characteristics of the five programs were examined. It was found that none of the programs emphasized instruction in comprehension of expository prose, and in only three of the programs was there any contact between the remedial and the content area teachers. The conclusions of the study were that students who had received remedial services for 2 to 5 or more years achieved lower academic grades in English, Social Studies, and Science than did students who had similar standardized reading test scores but had never received remediation. In addition, students who were in remedial services the longest achieved the lowest grades with significant interaction between the years in remediation and academic grades in English. It is reasonable to assume that the remedial programs as they now exist are not meeting the needs of the remedial student.

Subject Area

Literacy|Reading instruction|Educational evaluation

Recommended Citation

Magner, Martha Mary, "Academic progress of selected middle school students after release from remedial reading programs" (1991). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9123132.