ERIC Number: ED406806
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997
The Effects of a Kindergarten Prevention Program on Special Education Referrals, Classifications and Retentions.
Dwyer, Jane Ebaugh; Rule, David L.
This study analyzed the effects of a kindergarten phonological awareness training program, STeps Into Reading (STIR) on the number of special education referrals, classifications, and retentions in a rural elementary school in New York. These numbers were compared prior to and after the program's implementation. STIR is based on research in the area of phonological awareness and includes components of student screening, teacher training, parent education, a parent communication system, congruence with the regular classroom, ongoing program evaluation, and continuous student assessment. Before STIR was implemented, the only way to receive academic support in kindergarten or first grade was to be classified for special education. Special education records from 1984-1991 were compared to those from 1991 through 1996. Retention rate was determined by the number of students in the prefirst program. Results indicated a significant reduction in referrals and special education classifications after the STIR phonological awareness program was established. The prefirst program was eliminated in 1993 due partially to the effectiveness of the STIR kindergarten program. However, this elimination had unexpected effects as third grade teachers reported fewer students, with a lower average chronological age, were ready for the switch to a more content-based curriculum. "The critical year for the difference in the maturity level of chronologically young children may be in fourth grade, not in third as was suspected." (Contains 33 references.) (DB)
Descriptors: Beginning Reading, Curriculum Based Assessment, Disability Identification, Early Intervention, Grade Repetition, Kindergarten, Parent Teacher Cooperation, Phonology, Prereferral Intervention, Prevention, Primary Education, Reading Difficulties, Reading Readiness, Referral, Special Education
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A