Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Michael Tappler


The purpose of this study was to identify an effective strategy to increase English Language Arts (ELA) proficiency in middle schools. This study assessed the outcome of classroom looping in an urban middle school. Vygotsky's theory of social development was the theoretical framework of this study. Two research questions explored statistical differences between scale and number correct scores on the standardized ELA Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP). Classroom settings (looping and traditional) served as independent variables, and ELA TCAP assessments were used as the dependent variable. This study included a random sample of 188 students (94 looping and 94 traditional) in a West Tennessee middle school. Mann-Whitney U tests were conducted to obtain mean scale and number correct scores on 2011-2013 ELA TCAP assessments. Findings indicated no statistically significant differences in performance between groups, with small effect sizes. Mean scale and number correct scores also indicated below proficient levels for all years tested in both groups. Findings suggested a need for the middle school studied to analyze current practices possibly attributing to current ELA TCAP proficiency as a solution. Continuous school improvement was presented as a strategy of utilizing multiple data sources to monitor and adjust school practices to improve student proficiency. A white paper was chosen as a project due to its intent to provide a short, concise explanation of an unfamiliar concept to administrators. The presented project has the potential of leading to positive social change by providing administrators with an ongoing system of monitoring and adjusting school wide instructional practices to meet the needs of all students being served.

Included in

Education Commons