Date of Award

Spring 5-2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Sherrie Wisdom

Second Advisor

Dr. Jed Deets

Third Advisor

Dr. Stephen Sherblom


This study describes a procedure one school district used to increase students’ reading abilities through reviewing data and adjusting the instruction to give students intensive services, as needed. This school worked in a problem-solving team approach to develop a comprehensive team that followed the progression of student achievement. Professional development was utilized extensively to make adjustments for reading instruction to a data-driven approach. The targeted population consisted of third through fifth grade students in the Southern Illinois Area. The study school averaged student scores that dropped three years in a row between the years 2004-2008. With the demands of No Child Left Behind, this school must increase scores at a rate of 2.4% yearly to remain on target and avoid perception as a failing school. The literature review suggested that educators differentiate instruction and utilize best practices to improve reading comprehension and fluency. These suggestions created a balanced literacy approach, grouped students into smaller groups, tiered students into groups, utilized job-embedded professional development, and utilized a problem-solving team approach. The researcher focused on data through district assessments to target individual student needs. Once students were targeted for additional reading assistance, students were placed into Power Hour. This reading hour focused on the elements of balanced literacy, and students who were not successful in Power Hour were referred to the problem-solving team, known as PASS, to develop a comprehensive plan to meet their needs through additional reading instruction during afternoon sessions. iii The analysis of student achievement data was determined by comparing pretests to posttests at different stages of the program. Pretest and posttest scores were gathered for students enrolled in Power Hour and PASS, and the results of student achievement on the Illinois State Achievement Test in grades three, four, and five were included in the analysis. Results indicated there was a significant improvement at each grade level, as well as with the group of students who received intensive assistance. Overall, this study supported a positive effect of additional reading assistance on a student’s independent reading ability.


Copyright 2012