Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Kim Nisbett


In a South Carolina middle school, students were performing poorly on the state assessment in reading. Eighth grade students were not passing the Palmetto Assessment of State Standard (PASS) assessment administered each spring. The purpose of this study was to examine whether student performance on the Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) reading test in the fall predicted PASS scores in the spring. The theoretical framework was based on the item response theory (IRT)-the relationship between individual performance on a test item and the test takers' levels of operating along an overall measure of the ability that item was designed to measure. The research question was used to examine how well student performance on the MAP predicts student performance on the PASS. MAP and PASS test scores were collected from 2012, 2013, and 2014 academic years from a total student sample of N = 741 from three out of the five middle schools in the North Central School District. The dependent variable was student PASS score and the independent variable was the MAP score. The PASS scores were correlated with the MAP scores to look for the strength and nature of the relationship, and a bivariate linear regression was conducted. The findings showed that student performance on the MAP reading test in the fall predicted PASS scores in the spring so that administrators might use these data to target student interventions. Professional development training was developed for teachers to apply best practices in the classroom to address areas of need as indicated by the MAP results. The implementation process would align with the district literacy initiatives Read to Succeed and Lindamood-Bell. Implications for positive social change include providing information and support to teachers at the study school to better support student reading achievement.