Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Michael Vinella


Third grade reading teachers at the local setting are not consistently using formative benchmark data to improve student reading performance, creating a gap in practice. This gap in practice may be due to teachers' lack of capacity to use the data to make changes to their instructional practices. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore how third grade reading teachers are using data from reading benchmark assessments to improve student reading performance. This project study was guided by two research questions (RQs). RQ 1 addressed how third grade teachers are using reading benchmark assessment data to improve student reading performance. RQ 2 addressed specific instructional strategies that third grade teachers are using from reading benchmark assessment data to effectively improve student reading performance. Data-driven decision making (DDDM) was the conceptual framework that was the foundation for this study. This basic qualitative design for this project study included 13 participants. Data were collected through open-ended semistructured interviews, and qualitative analyses were conducted through open coding and thematic analysis. According to the findings of this study, immediately analyzing data, collaboration, and data driven instruction were the themes that emerged guided by RQ 1. Emerging themes for RQ 2 included test taking strategies, modeling, and guided reading. Leadership in this district may use these findings to make decisions about the effectiveness of teachers' use of these benchmark assessments or the data gathered from the assessments to impact student reading proficiencies. This research may provide specific instructional strategies used through the DDDM process that increases student reading proficiency. These findings could possibly yield results that have positive social change implications for reading achievement.

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