Date of Award

Winter 2010

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Teaching and Learning

Program/Concentration

Literacy Leadership

Committee Director

Jane M. Hager

Committee Member

Charlene E. Fleener

Committee Member

Stephen W. Tonelson

Abstract

Reading First was a federal initiative aimed at improving reading instruction and implementing programs and strategies grounded in scientifically-based reading research. The legislation was predicated on research findings that high-quality reading instruction and intervention in the primary grades significantly reduces the numbers of students who experience difficulties in later grades. This study examined the Reading First program at an elementary school in southeastern Virginia from 2006-2008. Specifically, the researcher investigated the impact of the independent variable, the tier three model of intervention on K-2 student reading achievement. Quantitative data was garnered from 792 K-2 student participants attending the research site.

Using a regression discontinuity design, the study evaluated the significance of the multi-tiered intervention model on student reading achievement using a pre-test/post-test program group strategy (Trochin, 1982; Stanley, 1991; Shadish, Cook, & Campbell, 2002). The Phonological Awareness Literacy Screenings (PALS), K PALS and PALS 1-3, served as the study's dependent measures examining differences in pre-post student scores to determine statistical significance in literacy growth among the population sample (Invernizzi, Meier, & Juel, 2003). Using PALS benchmark ranges established by the local division, 2006-2008 K-2 students were identified as tier 1, meeting benchmark standards, tier 2, strategic, or tier 3, intensive. The researcher evaluated the mean differences between groups using an Analysis of Variance (ANOVA). Additional independent variables analyzed included pre-k experience, student tier classification, grade level, and year.

Statistical significance existed between pre-test/post-test scores among the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 tier 1 student subgroups in Grade 1. No significant relationship was found among year 1 or year 2 tier 1 student subgroups in Kindergarten or Grade 2. Results of one-way analyses of variance showed statistical significance between pre-test/post-test scores among tier 2 student subgroups in Kindergarten, Grade 1, and Grade 2. Statistical significance existed between pre-test/post-test scores among the 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 tier 3 student subgroups in Kindergarten. No significant relationship was found among year 1 or year 2 tier 3 student subgroups in Grade 1 or Grade 2.

DOI

10.25777/486m-d276

ISBN

9781124520452

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