Reading Achievement in the Middle School Years

Document Type


Publication Date



Numerous research studies have shown that students with disabilities generally exhibit lower reading scores than their peers without disabilities. However, questions remain about the possibility of longitudinal differences among high-incidence disability classifications (e.g., speech/language impairments, SLI; emotional disturbances, ED; learning disabilities, LD; and attention deficit disorders, ADD). This study investigated growth patterns in reading achievement among middle school students from 5th to 8th grade with different high incidence disability classifications on one state's high-stakes assessment. After a repeated measures analysis of variance and post hoc testing, results reveal that students identified as LD and SLI evidenced more growth in reading than those classified as either ADD or ED. In light of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 legislation, findings about the various growth patterns are discussed with respect to policy, measurement, and practical implications.