Literacy Learning: Are Maine First Graders Meeting Our Expectations Occasional Paper.Report as inadecuate

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Research suggests that children who do not read at the end of the first grade fail to achieve in almost every other academic area. Given the high price of not learning to read in first grade, Maine schools are asking: Are children entering first grade able to take advantage of formal literacy instruction? Are they leaving first grade reading and writing well enough? This paper addresses both questions using performance data from more than a thousand first graders, collected during the 1995-96 school year. The paper also reports Maine stanines of performance at the beginning and end of first grade. It notes that with the widespread implementation in Maine of Reading Recovery, an early intervention program for first graders having difficulty in reading and writing, Maine schools have had access to an effective tool for assessing young children's literacy progress. The paper first describes the assessments and procedures that were used to gather the student performance data, specifically the Observation Survey of Early Literacy Achievement developed by Marie Clay. Second, it discusses issues around stanines and their use and reports the Maine first-grade stanines. Finally, it addresses in detail the two questions posed initially. (Contains 25 references and 4 tables of data.) (NKA)

Descriptors: Data Collection, Educational Research, Emergent Literacy, Grade 1, High Risk Students, Primary Education, Reading Achievement, Student Educational Objectives, Writing Achievement

Center for Research & Evaluation, College of Education & Human Development, University of Maine, 5766 Shibles Hall, Orono, ME 04469-5766. Tel: 207-581-2467; Web site:

Author: Moore, Paula F.; Rhodes-Kline, Anne


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