Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
High School students in a local school district were having reading-related difficulties in certain subject areas and were at risk of failing high school courses. Success in reading is important because students must read the content within the End of Course Test in core content subjects, and their success on this test determines their eligibility for high school graduation. The purpose of the study was to examine the effectiveness of a Response to Intervention (RTI) reading class designed to improve reading skills for at-risk high school students. The constructivist learning theory was the theoretical framework for this study. The research questions addressed how teachers conceptualized RTI as it applied to students' performance in the reading intervention class and the benefits and challenges of the reading class. The research design was a qualitative instrumental case study with the reading class serving as the case. Data were collected from semistructured interviews with 7 educators, reading work samples, and RTI data from the school. Data were analyzed via open coding techniques to determine emergent themes. The findings indicate that the reading class was not effective in improving students' reading. Recommendations include creating reading resources, promoting a professional development plan for teachers, and designing or refining a reading curriculum. The implications for positive social change include better mastery of grade-level content reading, improved instructional practices and RTI intervention, improved students' scores on state assessments, and higher numbers of high school graduates.