Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Katherine Norman


The problem investigated in this quantitative study was that schools in a small, rural East Texas town were falling below acceptable ratings in reading on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) and the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STAAR). Researchers have found that constructive-based learning environments (CBLEs) can improve student achievement. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between length of time enrolled in a CBLE and reading achievement. Based on the framework of constructivism, 2 research questions were examined. To answer Research Question 1, an analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) calculated the difference in reading achievement as measured by the TAKS in 2011 and the STAAR in 2015, between 5th grade students (N = 81) enrolled in a CBLE for more than 2 years (Group 1) and students enrolled in a CBLE for less than 1 year (Group 2) when adjusted for 4th grade scores. Results showed that Group 1 students demonstrated higher adjusted mean reading scores than Group 2 students on TAKS with F(1, 32) = 15.374, p = < .001 and on STAAR with F(2, 42) = 9.427, p < 001. To answer Research Question 2, an independent-samples t test compared the means of the reading scores growth from 4th to 5th grade. The result showed no significant difference in TAKS with t = .607, p = .548 and in STAAR with t = .277, p = .783. America's reliance on standardized tests influences the way in which reading is taught. Examining standardized reading test outcomes may indicate how teaching and learning environments affect student success. This information may lead to positive social change as educators examine teaching and testing goals, ultimately contributing to student success on standardized tests.