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What Environments Support Reading Growth Among Current Compared With Former Reading Intervention Recipients? A Multilevel Analysis of Students and Their Schools.

School context can shape relative intervention response in myriad ways due to factors, such as instructional quality, resource allocation, peer effects, and correlations between the school context and characteristics of enrolled students (e.g., higher-poverty students attending higher-poverty schools). In the current study, we used data from 16,000 Grade 3 students in a community-based supplemental reading intervention program to investigate the degree to which school context factors (percentage eligible for free/reduced-price lunch [FRPL], school-level achievement) relate to the differences in triannual reading fluency growth rates between students actively receiving supplemental intervention (active recipients) and those that formerly received intervention (and therefore only received general class instruction at this time; former recipients). Using Bayesian multilevel modeling, our findings indicate that school-level FRPL eligibility played a more prominent factor in growth rate differences between these two groups than school-level reading achievement. However, school-level reading achievement was much more strongly related to reading fluency differences between active and former intervention recipients at the beginning of the school year (when controlling for FRPL). Implications for investigating school-level heterogeneity in intervention response and sustainability are discussed.

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