Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Nicolae Nistor


Twenty percent of the 2013-2014 sophomore class at a Washington high school was failing high-stakes tests, making these students ineligible to graduate. In an attempt to help students identify their academic proficiency with respect to the Common Core Curricular Standards 9 months before the high-stakes exam, the high school recently introduced the adaptive diagnostic software i-Ready. Cognitive learning theories comprised the framework for this study, which posit that learning is dependent on previous knowledge and central to measuring performance levels. The purpose of this quantitative correlational project study was to examine whether 10th grade students' achievement on i-Ready math scores (N = 220) could predict the subsequent high-stakes mathematics scores on the End of Course Exam while controlling for gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. The i-Ready emerged as a statistically significant predictor of the End of Course Exam scores with β = .64 (p < .001), explaining R2 = .43 of the criterion variance. Gender, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status had no significant moderating influence. The project deliverable as a result of this study was a position paper advising the use of the i-Ready as a predictor for the End of Course Exam at the high school under study. The implications for positive social change include allowing educators to use the i-Ready as an early warning system for students in danger of failing high-stakes exams. This study may help identify students at risk of not graduating who could benefit from instructional support.