Efficacy of a First‐Grade Responsiveness‐to‐Intervention Prevention Model for Struggling Readers

This randomized control trial examined the efficacy of a multitiered supplemental tutoring program within a first‐grade responsiveness‐to‐intervention prevention model. Struggling first‐grade readers (n = 649) were screened and progress monitored at the start of the school year. Those identified as unresponsive to general education Tier 1 (n = 212) were randomly assigned to receive Tier 2 small‐group supplemental tutoring (n = 134) or to continue in Tier 1 (n = 78). Progress‐monitoring data were used to identify nonresponders to Tier 2 (n = 45), who were then randomly assigned to more Tier 2 tutoring (n = 21) or one‐on‐one Tier 3 tutoring (n = 24). Tutoring in Tier 3 was the same as in Tier 2 except for the delivery format and frequency of instruction. Results from a latent change analysis indicated nonresponders to Tier 1 who received supplemental tutoring made significantly higher word reading gains compared with controls who received reading instruction only in Tier 1 (effect size = 0.19). However, no differences were detected between nonresponders to Tier 2 who were assigned to Tier 3 versus more Tier 2. This suggests more frequent 1:1 delivery of a Tier 2 standard tutoring program may be insufficient for intensifying intervention at Tier 3. Although supplemental tutoring was effective in bolstering reading performance of Tier 1 nonresponders, only 40% of all Tier 2 students and 53% of Tier 2 responders were reading in the normal range by grade 3. Results challenge the preventive intent of short‐term, standard protocol, multitiered supplemental tutoring models.
Authors citation
Gilbert, J. K., Compton, D. L., Fuchs, D., Fuchs, L. S., Bouton, B., Barquero, L. A., & Cho, E.
Reading Research Quarterly, 48(2), 135–154
Year of Study
Program Evaluated
Multitiered supplemental tutoring program-general education
Tutor Type
14 weeks
Sample size
Grade Level(s)
1st Grade
Student-Tutor Ratio
Effect Size
Study Design
Randomized Controlled Trial
Full citation
Gilbert, J. K., Compton, D. L., Fuchs, D., Fuchs, L. S., Bouton, B., Barquero, L. A., & Cho, E. (2013). Efficacy of a First-Grade Responsiveness-to-Intervention Prevention Model for Struggling Readers. Reading Research Quarterly, 48(2), 135–154. https://doi.org/10.1002/rrq.45