High school students' participation in supplementary reading intervention courses shapes their course-taking opportunities. Unfortunately, there is little research that examines criteria that determine whether students are placed in these courses and their possibilities for exit. There is far less research about students' understandings of these entry and exit criteria. These lacunae limit administrator, educator, and researcher knowledge about the role of these criteria in structuring students' educational trajectories. Drawing on participant observations and interviews, this article shares the results of a dual analysis of entry and exit criteria for reading intervention at a comprehensive high school, and student perceptions of these criteria. Findings indicate how shifting criteria, the overreliance on assessments embedded within pre-packaged literacy programs, and the absence of communication with students reproduced inequities in students' access to other electives and choices in their high school trajectories. As a result, this article calls attention to the way in which lack of communication and hidden high-stakes assessments functioned to limit the educational opportunities of the linguistically diverse students of color enrolled in this reading intervention course. In addition, it raises awareness about the necessity for administrators and educators to be critical consumers of assessments embedded within pre-packaged literacy instruction programs.


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pp. 72-93
Launched on MUSE
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