Date of Award

Fall 10-2009

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Susan Isenberg

Second Advisor

Dr. Cynthia Bice

Third Advisor

Dr. William Emrick


The purpose of this study was to investigate the academic impact of reading interventions provided to kindergarten through third grade students identified as at-risk for reading failure. Studies have indicated that educators become very concerned when the number of elementary students who struggle with reading increase. It is difficult for students to reach grade level reading expectation when they have a poor start at learning to read. The gap between these children and children who read well widens as they progress through the grade levels. The research questions included 1) What gains are seen in reading abilities for children who are at-risk for reading failure and who receive intensive levels of reading interventions as defined by a scientifically based reading program? and 2) What changes, if any, could occur as a result of parents and educators gaining a better understanding of how children learn to read? In this mixed-methods study, the researcher conducted interviews and analyzed reading scores of students from two schools to determine the impact of reading interventions for children identified as at-risk for reading failure. School A was a Reading First School. Reading First is a program launched as a result of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2000. This program emphasized the implementation of scientifically based reading instruction for children at-risk for reading failure. School B was not a Reading First School, and it had no scientifically based early reading intervention program in place. The two Schools (School A and B) were compared using year-end reading achievement scores. Findings from the comparison of the mean scores from quantitative and qualitative data revealed that there was no significant difference between the School Effects of Early Reading Interventions A and B reading achievement test scores. The variables that may have affected student test scores were teacher qualifications and motivation. As a result of the findings, parents and educators may be better prepared to help students with reading difficulties through a new understanding that these children need extra support—the kind of support that only a highly qualified teacher can provide.


Copyright 2009