Date of Conferral

2016

Degree

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

School

Education

Advisor

Barbara Hunter

Abstract

Many Canadian school districts use standardized reading achievement data to support reading instruction. Over 30% of 9th-grade students in the Anglophone School District-South (ASD-S) have not met targets for the English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA), a graduation requirement in New Brunswick, Canada. This study compared archival reading scores of 6th-grade students from 2009-2012 with the same students' scores in 9th-grade from 2012-2015, to determine if 6th-grade scores were a predictor of 9th-grade results. Rendering the impact illiteracy plays on society, this study applied the theoretical framework of social theory from Bourdieu's (1977, 1984, 1986) view of social mobility and Turner's (1960) view of contest mobility. A quantitative design employed a regression analysis to determine how standardized reading scores for three cohorts of students in 6th-grade between 2009-2012 compared with the reading achievement test scores as 9th-grade students in 2012-2015. A sample of 1,200 students was selected. A paired samples t test determined which level(s) of reading comprehension (literal, inferential, or critical) presented the most difficulties for students between 2009-2015. Results of the study concluded that 6th-grade overall reading scores were a predictor of 9th-grade overall scores and that inferential and critical levels of reading comprehension were areas of concern. These findings are intended for administrators and District leadership in ASD-S to support the implementation of an intervention year in Grades 7 and 8 to address this problem. This research promotes positive social change by identifying potential pathways for improving adolescent reading skills for New Brunswick youth.