Date of Award

Spring 5-2010

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

Dr. Dan Edwards

Second Advisor

Dr. Susan K. Isenberg

Third Advisor

Dr. John Oldani

Abstract

This dissertation was written collaboratively by Cynthia Warren, Linetta Carter, and George Edwards with the exception of chapter 4 which is the individual effort of the aforementioned researchers. The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of athome reading activities and parental involvement on classroom communication arts assessments with a focus on the high school level. A total of 150 students from two inner city schools and one suburban middle school were chosen for the multi-method research. Students’ reading scores were evaluated and their parents were interviewed. A collaborative study involving three investigators was conducted to determine if there was a relationship between at-home reading activities and student success on academic achievement on the elementary, middle, and high school levels. This study may help educators and administrators understand the importance of developing early and continual reading experiences at home. Identifying the effect that consistent parental involvement has on reading proficiency may also assist school districts with bilingual populations in the development of a variety of programs that would involve parents in reading and language arts in the schools. There is an increasing level of accountability in the area of reading. The No Child Left Behind ACT of 2001 (NCLB) mandated that school districts achieve an average yearly progress in reading for students 3rd through 8th grade and 11th grade. With that as the primary focus for student achievement, there needs to be a paradigm shift that is inclusive of many facets of parental involvement. iii Results that emerged were (a) parents’ educational level does not adversely interfere with students’ reading performance; (b) parents’ support was very important in the child’s literacy development; (c) school and home cooperative support impacted classroom reading tests scores; (d) reading to the child at home, regardless the language used, had a measurable impact on the student’s literacy; and (e) children who received parental support at home progressed significantly. The key finding was parental involvement, no matter how great or small, had a positive impact on student success.

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