Adolescent reading: An analysis of standardized assessment performance following the intervention of extended course time

Lois Mary Campbell, University of Pennsylvania


Since the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, school districts are striving to find interventions that will provide all students with opportunities to become proficient readers. Adolescent literacy is especially problematic to this pursuit. Research shows that adolescent literacy is an under-studied area and that there is a need for transferable interventions that will help struggling adolescents become better readers. Numerous research studies indicate that providing more time for reading has been effective but the research on that topic has dealt mainly with younger students. This study adds to the conversation on interventions designed to help basic and below basic adolescent readers improve their reading skills. A scheduling modification for struggling readers provided additional time for reading and learning by doubling the amount of time spent in ninth and tenth grade English classes. Comparisons were conducted between thirteen disaggregated grade-level groups, but the importance lies in the second portion of the study. In the second portion, comparisons were made between students who completed the extended time courses when they were divided according to the Pennsylvania Performance Levels for the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA). There was statistical significance in the differences of the means between grade-level groups of students who completed the courses. Those who scored below proficient on the pretest had greater standardized test score gains than students who had proficient pretest scores. Additionally, for both grade levels, the groups of students who completed the courses and whose pretest scores were below the proficient level had stronger gains than any of the groups within their individual grade levels for which comparisons were made. The analysis of the data provides information on the intervention of the extended time English courses for ninth and tenth grade students on this site during the first year of the courses. Extra time provided through scheduling modifications was an effective intervention in providing basic and below basic readers with the opportunity to improve their reading skills.

Subject Area

Literacy|Reading instruction|Secondary education|Curricula|Teaching

Recommended Citation

Campbell, Lois Mary, "Adolescent reading: An analysis of standardized assessment performance following the intervention of extended course time" (2005). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3168015.