THE REGRESSION AND RECOUPMENT IN READING AND MATHEMATICS OF NONREFERRED STUDENTS AND STUDENTS WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES
Boyles, Patti Elise
Speece, Deborah L.
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Researchers have studied student summer regression in reading and mathematics with mixed results; the findings for children with disabilities are limited. If students with disabilities experience more regression and slower recoupment than average-achieving peers, summer education policies should be reexamined to ensure that students with learning disabilities continue to progress toward proficiency as mandated in the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) federal education initiative. I examined the differential summer regression and recoupment of 82 first through fourth grade students, 42 with learning disabilities (LD) and 42 students who were not referred (NR) for special education services, matched by grade, race, and gender. Students were grouped by two developmental levels: Primary (first and second grades) and Intermediate (third and fourth grades) and were tested with curriculum-based measurement fluency probes of reading and mathematics the last week of the school year and the first and sixth week of the following school year. Using repeated measures analysis of variance (Status x Developmental Level x Time), there were significant main effects for Status (LD, NR) and Time (Spring, Fall, Recoupment) for both reading and mathematics and a significant Developmental Level x Time interaction for mathematics. Across all students, there was a nonsignificant trend for summer regression and a significant effect for recoupment. In mathematics, Primary students showed significantly more recoupment than did the Intermediate students. Although the study had low power to detect significant interactions, it appears that children with LD do not experience differential summer regression and fall recoupment compared to their nondisabled peers. However, the achievement gap between these two groups, as signified by the main effect of status, suggested that as early as first and second grade, children with LD are considerably behind their classmates. With NCLB requiring that all students reach levels of proficiency in reading and mathematics by the year 2014, more focused instruction will be needed for children with learning disabilities.