Date of Award

Spring 4-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Jackie D. Ramey

Second Advisor

Dr. Kevin Winslow

Third Advisor

Dr. Howard Fields


The ability to read proficiently is a comprehensive skill necessary for success at all academic levels. Students who consistently read below grade level continue to struggle throughout their school years with little chance of recovery. The administrative leaders of the Ocean View School District (a pseudonym) noticed a decline in reading scores and recognized a need for a significant shift in its instructional practices to reach its struggling readers. The purpose of this study allowed school leaders an opportunity to investigate the effectiveness of the Gradual Release of Responsibility (GRR) reading strategy within the structure of the Missouri Reading Initiative Program (MRI) regarding student achievement in reading at a small mid-western urban elementary school. During the study, the small mid-western urban school’s Reading Specialists utilized two gradual release models, a Three-Step gradual release method and a Four-Step gradual release method in Grade 3 through Grade 5. The Primary Investigator collected secondary data in the form of reading and Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) scores, to evaluate student outcomes. The implementation of Reader’s Workshop at the Valley Breeze Elementary School (a pseudonym) led to a discussion of the effectiveness best practices, balanced literacy, and small group instruction on student achievement and reading levels. Increase in student reading levels was gauged by an increase as assessed by the Fountas and Pinnell (F&P) Reading Assessment. The Primary Investigator formulated two hypotheses organized around the following questions: (1) How do reading scores differ in comparison to the iii implementation of two different models of Gradual Release of Responsibility within the Missouri Reading Initiative program? (2) How do ELA MAP scores differ in comparison to the implementation of two different methods of Gradual Release of Responsibility within the Missouri Reading Initiative program? Overall, the Primary Investigator determined the results of the study as inconclusive. However, trends in growth due to student moving levels during a given school year, as well as, a positive average growth percentage of reading scores was noted. The Primary Investigator recommended another form of assessment to validate the increased achievement of student readers.


Copyright 2018