Date of Award

Fall 9-2009

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

Dr. Terry Stewart

Second Advisor

Dr. William Emrick

Third Advisor

Dr. Susan Isenberg


An indicator of student achievement is the ability to read. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (2000) stated that reading comprehension is critically important to the development of children’s reading skills and their ability to obtain an education. The ability to read was found to be both necessary and crucial for academic success. With the adoption of No Child Left Behind, national concern about the quality of our schools and the achievement of all students was as high as it has ever been. The primary purposes of this study were to (a) investigate the impact of the Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling (LETRS) program on student achievement as measured by the Missouri Assessment Program (MAP) test in the area of communication arts, and (b) explore the teacher perceived effectiveness of the LETRS program along with teacher perceived roles and responsibilities to daily implementation. This study concentrated on student achievement, as determined by the MAP test, and the teachers’ knowledge and skill level as they integrated research-based reading strategies supported by LETRS into the curriculum. The study also focused on the perceived effectiveness of the LETRS professional development opportunities provided to teachers as determined by surveys and roundtable discussions. Data from the Lincoln County R-III and Warren County R-III School District MAP tests, survey questionnaire, and roundtable discussions were analyzed using descriptive statistics. The data were analyzed together in order to combine the results and interpret them. Triangulation was achieved by utilizing survey results and the roundtable discussions in order to determine future outcomes for integrating LETRS into reading instruction. No statistically significant difference was found between the student achievement of the LETRS school district, Lincoln County R-III, and the non-LETRS school district, Warren County R-III. Qualitative data revealed that teachers in the LETRS school district believed that barriers to the implementation of the professional development existed. These barriers included time out of the teacher’s classroom, the presentation of the material by the LETRS facilitators, and the lack of real-world application with the LETRS strategies. This study suggests seven similar studies for future research.


Copyright 2009