Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Rollen Fowler


Reading is an essential ability for students to be successful in life. The students attending an urban high school in Washington, DC received low reading test scores. Therefore, the school district required teachers to attend mandated professional development workshops (PDWs) to help improve students' reading. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between the number of mandated PDWs attended over 3 academic school years and 10th grade student reading achievement levels as measured by the District of Columbia Comprehensive Assessment System (DC CAS) as well as whether the increased number of mandated PDWs predicts reading levels on the DC CAS. Guskey's model of teacher change was the theoretical framework. Archived DC CAS reading achievement level data from 370 10th grade students were retrieved for an ordinal logistic regression and Spearman rho correlational analyses. Spearman rho analysis initially revealed a significant positive relationship between mandated PDWs and DC CAS reading scores across 3 consecutive academic school years (r = .897, r = .816, and r = .503). Because reading achievement data were nonparametric/ordinal in nature, a more conservative technique was conducted that revealed a nearly zero rho coefficient of r = -.020. Regression analyses revealed no significant predictive relationship between the number of mandated PDWs attended and DC CAS reading levels. The findings may contribute to social change by showing district administrators that changing teachers' ability to teach reading more effectively to students is much more multifaceted and complex in nature than just mandating the attendance of PDWs.