Date of Award

Spring 4-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Patricia Conner

Second Advisor

Dr. Sherry DeVore

Third Advisor

Dr. Terry Reid


While it is important to recognize the economic background of students and home factors contributing to their achievement, the purpose of this study was to discover what best practices schools were implementing with low socioeconomic students to narrow the achievement gap in communication arts (Darling-Hammond & Richardson, 2009; Gorski, 2013; Snell, 2003). The research design incorporated mixed-methods by employing data collected from surveys, interviews, and secondary data sources. A triangulation of data was used to increase the credibility and validity of the study (Fraenkel et al., 2012; Mills, 2014). For this study, the quantitative data were collected using a survey as well as Missouri Assessment Performance (MAP) scores. The qualitative data were collected through interviews. In addition to increasing the validity of the study, the benefits of using triangulation also included creating varied ways to understand and reveal the results of the study (Fraenkel et al., 2012; Guion, Diehl, & McDonald, 2011; Mills, 2014). The results of this study indicated a blend of research-based best practices can make a positive impact in narrowing the achievement gap in students from low socioeconomic backgrounds in the area of communication arts. The significance of this research is the results provide educators an outline of successful research-based instructional strategies to assist communication arts students.


Copyright 2015