Date of Award


Document type


Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Degree Program

Education (also CAGS)

First Advisor

Joseph B. Berger

Second Advisor

Linda E. Driscoll

Third Advisor

Daniel Gerber

Subject Categories



The dissertation is a study to determine which program, Reading First or Bay State Reading Initiative, will demonstrate the greatest gains in reading for students in grades K-3 using a 3-Tier Reading Model. The findings from this study are intended to provide pertinent information on which best practices work in increasing student achievement for reading. Education reform continues to be a hot topic at all levels within the United States. With the spending of billions of federals, state and local dollars, the persistent talk of accountability is ongoing. Since NCLB inception, the year 2014 when all students need to reach proficiency in statewide standardized tests in mathematics and reading, continues to be a threatening time period. With each state setting its own definition and determination of what proficiency is, it is measured by the Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP). This AYP measurement will determine each school’s progress incrementally until it reaches 100% in 2014. 48% of all schools in Massachusetts failed to make their AYP in 2004. It is predicted that by 2014, 90% of schools in Massachusetts will not reach its APY obligation (MassPartners for Public Schools, 2005). With the pursuit of reaching AYP, the search is still on for what best practices work in increasing student achievement.

This study utilizes a mixed method research design; including quantitative analysis of the reading scores, a qualitative analysis of teacher and administrator perspective on the effectiveness vii of each program and a financial cost-effectiveness comparison of the two programs. The quantitative research design includes comparing DIBELS and GRADE results of two elementary schools for students in grades K – 3 each of which uses a different reading program. School A uses the Houghton Mifflin Reading Series for their core reading curriculum while School B uses Scott Foresman Reading Street. In addition to comparing the aggregate scores of each school to each other, a number of sub-groups will also be compared. These groups will include low income students (students who receive free and reduced lunch), students with limited English proficiency (LEP), and special education students. Mean comparisons will be utilized to identify which program produces the best results.

In order to identify strengthens and weaknesses of each approach a questionnaire will be utilize to obtain this information from teachers and the administrators who took part in implementing both programs.

In these times of tight budgets and difficult decisions on how to meet the needs of all students it is imperative that cost effectiveness is examined between the two programs. Which of these two programs will provide the greatest gain? How much will that gain cost? Which program will reap the best results for the least amount of money?


Included in

Education Commons