Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Educators offer rich learning experiences to all students, including advanced learners. A school district experienced a decrease in improvement percentiles on annual state reading achievement tests for advanced middle school students between 2012 and 2015. Guided by the theory of differentiated instruction, this quantitative study evaluated the effectiveness of Achieve 3000, a technology-enhanced program for differentiating reading instruction in a middle school that has a large percentage of advanced learners. The program was fully implemented for advanced 6th through 8th grade students beginning in the 2017-18 school year. Using a causal-comparative design, the archived reading scores of 120 advanced 6th through 8th grade students were compared pre and post implementation of Achieve 3000. A paired samples t test examining the overall effect of the intervention indicated that students' posttest scores were significantly higher than their pretest scores. A mixed design ANOVA was used to examine the main and interaction effects of time (pretest vs. posttest) and grade level (6th, 7th, and 8th) on students' scores. A significant time by grade interaction was present with 6th grade advanced learners showing significantly greater increases in reading scores following the Achieve 3000 intervention as compared to the other grade levels. These findings suggest that the Achieve 3000 program is effective for meeting the specialized differentiated instructional needs of advanced learners. The implications for social change include offering educators viable, technology-enhanced options for effectively differentiating reading instruction for advanced learners resulting in enhanced academic achievement, thereby benefiting students and the school community.