Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Lucian A. Szlizewski


According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, a significant percent of 4th grade students read below the basic level. In one elementary school students participated in additional reading instruction as intervention for students scoring basic and below basic on the state standardized test. The purpose of this ex post facto non-experimental quantitative study was to determine the effectiveness of direct instruction versus fluency (repeated reading) instruction on the reading achievement of 4th grade students. This study is based on the theory of automatic information processing in reading and the theory of prosody. The overarching research question for this study examined if the reading achievement scores of 4th grade students improved with fluency instruction or direct instruction. Two separate years of archived data from the 2011-2012 (Group A) and 2012-2013 (Group B) school years were used to examine student reading levels using the Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA) test. Sample size for both Group A and Group B equaled 76 participants respectively. Use of an independent samples t test indicated there was a significant mean difference of reading achievement scores between student groups as measured by the DRA. Students who received fluency instruction achieved greater comprehension scores than students who did not receive fluency instruction . Findings from this study give indication of improvement in reading achievement with the implementation of fluency instruction. Implications for social change include changing the behavior, perceptions, and customs of teachers towards students in and urban public school and district through professional development and professional learning community sessions.