Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Barbara Hunter


Reading Recovery is a first-grade literacy intervention program with notable short-term benefits, but there are sustainability studies that highlight inconclusive evidence of its enduring success. It was unclear if formerly enrolled Reading Recovery students continue to have long-term literacy skill retention after exiting the literacy intervention. The problem was essential to this rural district because Reading Recovery was costly to implement, and the literacy standardized test scores remained low. The purpose of this quantitative study was to determine if formerly enrolled Reading Recovery students had sustainable literacy skills. The theoretical framework was the literacy processing theory, which entails how emergent learners develop literacy processing systems. The research question was to determine if there was a significant difference in the Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress standardized test scores between the 73 formerly enrolled and 38 nonenrolled students. The independent variable was enrollment in Reading Recovery, and the dependent variable was ISTEP+ standardized literacy scores. The independent sample t-test results showed no statistically significant difference in ISTEP+ standardized literacy scores. The results were the basis for the creation of the 3-day professional development training for educators in grades 2 and 3. The training will promote positive social change since it will support the continued literacy progress of formerly enrolled Reading Recovery students. Students with solid literacy skills will have better future employment opportunities and higher social engagement in American society.

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