Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Thomas Schnick


School districts struggle to achieve Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in reading in first grade. Nine percent of first grade students at the study site were not meeting state performance standards in the area of language arts. Specifically in the area of fluency, 38% of first grade students were not achieving AYP. Because of the close connection between oral fluency and early reading achievement, first grade students need to be more fluent to attain state standards. Based on LaBerge and Samuels theory of automaticity within reading fluency, the purpose of this study was to identify the impact of the Scholastic Guided Reading Program and Harcourt Trophies basal reading program on students reading fluency, as measured by the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills Oral Reading Fluency (DIBELS). Over eight months, the fluency levels of 129 first grade students were assessed three times. Repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed a significant increase in the DIBELS gain scores between the pretest Fall Y2 Word Fluency (WF) scores in relation to the posttest Winter Y2 Oral Reading Fluency (ORF) scores for those students who received Scholastic Guided Reading instruction. Students who received Harcourt basal reading instruction gain scores showed a slight regression in fluency between the pretest Fall Y2 WF and the posttest Winter Y2 ORF. These results suggest that individual leveled reading instruction increases students' fluency skills. Improving reading fluency early is essential; students who become proficient readers have the ability to contribute and participatee in all areas of societal change.