Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education



First Advisor

Dr. Susan Isenberg

Second Advisor

Dr. Sherrie L. Wisdom

Third Advisor

Dr. Bill Emrick


Reading is an essential skill taught during elementary academic years. The Sunny Day School District recognized the need of locating a reading program tailored to effectively meeting the instructional needs of students. A preliminary question was, “how do we increase the reading achievement of all our students?” In response to this instructional concern, the Sunny Day School District decided to implement the Missouri Reading Initiative (MRI), a state program created to assist teachers with scientifically research based reading instructional strategies. This study addressed the problem of a lack of a program evaluation for the MRI program as implemented within the elementary schools of the Sunny Day School District.

Qualitative and quantitative approaches added depth and authenticity to the data collection process and the intention was to triangulate the data in order to obtain a holistic picture of the MRI program in one school district. Design features were inclusive of the following study elements: administrative interviews, surveys, classroom observations, and MAP Scale Scores. Statistical tools used to analyze the MAP Scale Scores comprised of two z-tests for proportions calculated to find differences in opinions and an ANOVA to find any variances between MAP Scale Scores of grades 3-5 during the years of this research study

An alignment of the research questions, observations, and surveys to the interview questions was completed then linked with the literature. Interviews and observations revealed valuable details of the implementation process of the MRI program. Emerging themes added data about the implementation processes and were reflective of management and classroom facilitation. Survey results did suggest MRI was beneficial for assisting teachers with research based instructional strategies. Two z tests for proportions of the survey results were in the critical range causing the rejection of the null hypotheses. An ANOVA of the MAP scores did not show a significant change in any one year over the five-year period. Before deciding on implementing an extensive reading program similar to MRI, other districts carefully consider the evaluation methods of teachers. Factors not considered in this study, such as evaluative measures (cognitive coaching versus traditional methods), may yield different program implementation results.


Copyright 2013

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