• topic;
  • assessment;
  • ongoing;
  • outcomes;
  • inform;
  • language learners;
  • second reading;
  • methodology;
  • action;
  • struggling;
  • gap;
  • factors;
  • intervention;
  • learner;
  • early adolescence;
  • adolescence;
  • type;
  • article

This study investigated average yearly reading growth norms of at-risk middle school students as a function of start of year reading grade level. Data for this study were collected from an urban school in the western United States over five years and tracked the yearly growth of 2,485 seventh- and eighth-grade students using a Lexile-linked testing instrument. This population had a 97% poverty rate; 87% were minority status, and 75% were English learners. Results revealed a distinct pattern of growth. Kindergarten through second-grade readers made the most Lexile growth, with first graders gaining the most. At third grade and higher, the growth dropped lower and lower. Also included is a discussion concerning significant growth by starting level, with implications for goal setting.