Date of Conferral

1-1-2011

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

School

Education

Advisor

Robert McClure

Abstract

The local school district in the current study was struggling to meet adequate yearly progress (AYP) targets in reading because secondary students were scoring below the basic level in reading and their content area teachers had little or no training in reading deficiencies. What had been speculated, yet never tested, was the utility of teacher training in research-based reading programs and interventions on increasing reading achievement scores. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to examine issues hampering RTI implementation. This case study focused on analyzing the perceptions of secondary RTI teachers within an urban school district in Texas. The theoretical framework was based on cognitive and social constructivist theory. The research question investigated the best approach to improve teachers' knowledge and implementation of the RTI framework to increase students' reading achievement. Interview data were collected from 3 RTI teachers who had more than 3 years of teaching experience. Data were analyzed through lean coding by using provisional codes to reduce codes to 3 major themes. Reports from the 3 teachers suggested that they all encountered many challenges in implementing RTI; additionally they all conveyed that they needed more support from administrators, access to prescribed resources, and consistent guidelines in program implementation. A white paper was developed to inform the local district on RTI implementation challenges and provide recommendations for improvement. This study impacts social change by providing administrators and educators with information that could improve implementation practices and result in better understanding of RTI.