A Summary of the Research
Research on the long-term consequences of early reading difficulty provides an incentive for early intervention. Juel (1988) found that students who are poor readers in first grade are almost certain to remain poor readers at the end of fourth grade. Cunningham and Stanovich (1997) found that first-grade reading achievement strongly predicts 11th-grade reading achievement.
Other researchers have shown that students at risk for reading failure can be identified early, using tests of phonological awareness, and treated successfully with intensive, explicit instruction in phonological awareness, followed by systematic phonics instruction.
Early intervention for reading problems reduces the number of students identified as learning disabled (Dickson & Bursuck, 1999; Jenkins & O'Connor, O'Connor 2000).
One-on-one tutoring is the gold standard for reading instruction, and the benefits of that type of tutoring is supported by research (Cohen, Kulik, & Kulik, 1982; Juel, 1996; Waskik, 1998; Wasik & Slavin, 1993).
That's why the No Child Left Behind Act includes a mandate that failing schools make one-on-one tutoring available for their students.
Yet most schools do not have enough trained personnel available to offer one-on-one tutoring.