Leading schools to increased reading achievement: An investigation into effective reading instruction

Patricia Anne Alford


This study investigated the effectiveness of two models of middle school reading instruction as measured by mean scores of middle school students on a state criterionreferenced test. Two cohorts of students were repeatedly compared over a three year period: students who received reading instruction as a core content class (Intervention A) and students who received reading instruction through content-area courses of math, social studies, science, and language arts (Intervention B). The independent variable was the reading program implemented and the dependent variables were the scale scores on the Reading portion of the CRCT test. A mixed model analysis of variance (ANOVA) was performed to examine the effects of the reading delivery model on students' CRCT scores in fifth, sixth and seventh grades to determine if a difference existed in reading scores between the groups based upon the reading instruction students received. Following a significant three-way interaction of time x reading intervention x subject area, an analysis of time x reading intervention simple interactions for each subject area revealed no interaction on reading scores ( F(2, 197) =.24, p = .99). There was a main effect of grade level on students' reading scores (F (2,394) = 97.67, p < .001) with students in seventh grade scoring higher than students in grades five and six and students in grade six scoring higher than students in grade five. Since there was no change in reading score patterns, these results cannot be interpreted as a function of reading instruction. The type of reading instruction produced no differential effects on reading achievement across time with both types of instruction revealing similar patterns in achievement. This study contributed to the body of educational research to assist school leaders in making informed decisions regarding the most appropriate reading instructional model.