Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
In a suburban school district in the northeastern United States, 10% to 15% of students at an elementary school received Title I reading services resulting in a low performing school designation. The purpose of this intrinsic case study was to complete a process-based evaluation identifying key instructional components of a high performing Title I reading program. Using data-based decision making theory as the conceptual framework, the goal of this study was to examine key instructional components of a highly effective Title I reading program in a school consistently scoring in the 90th percentile or higher on the state reading test. Data collection occurred by observing 5 Title I reading classrooms to identify curricular and instructional components used in the delivery of Title I services, followed by in-depth interviews conducted with the 5 classroom teachers in Grades 1 through 4. The school's principal and the district's federal program coordinator were interviewed to gain perspectives about program outcomes. Archival data were reviewed to determine program strength through standardized student achievement scores. The responsive interviewing model was used for data analysis followed by the inductive and interpretive approach to identify categories and 6 themes: assessment, cooperative learning, staffing of a state-certified reading specialist, availability of leveled readers, management of student grouping and differentiated instruction, and delivery of curriculum aligned with Common Core Standards. Findings identified curriculum changes necessary for a successful Title I reading program. The resulting project was a presentation for district officials to adopt an effective reading program model. This study contributes to positive social change through implementation of course design leading to local student retention and higher reading achievement scores.