Technology, Instructional Methods, and the Systemic Messiness of Innovation: Improving Reading Fluency for Low Socio‑Economic Elementary School Students

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Reading fluency—the ability to read accurately, with appropriate pacing, expression, and rhythm—is a fundamental skill for elementary school students to develop (Snow et al. 1998). Reading fluency is related to comprehension skills (Daane et al. 2005; Donahue et al. 1999; Pinnell et al. 1995) and to overall educational achievement (Silberglitt et al. 2006). However, many elementary school students do not reach grade-level reading fluency levels (Hemphill and Vanneman 2011; Pinnell et al. 1995), especially those from low-resource communities or from racial and ethnic minority groups (Donahue et al. 1999; Hemphill and Vanneman 2011). Research has suggested that children who do not develop the ability to read fluently early in the schooling process are likely to experience difficulty learning and comprehending important material from texts introduced in later grades (Chall et al. 1990; Lyon and Moats 1997; Rasinski et al. 2012). Interventions can be effective in improving reading fluency...