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ERIC Number: ED535103
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 210
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1249-3831-8
Principals', Teachers' and Reading Coaches' Perceptions of the Effectiveness of the Alabama Reading Initiative in Two Central Alabama School Systems
Washington, Cheryl
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Alabama State University
The Alabama Reading Initiative is the brain child of state policy makers and academic leaders designed to increase student achievement on standardized reading assessments, and to change instructional practices in schools so that achievement is consistent and sustained. This quantitative population study was conducted in two rural school systems to investigate the perceived effectiveness of the Alabama Reading Initiative (ARI) in improving reading instruction and its effect on student achievement. This study also examined ARI's effectiveness as a lasting change agent in education. Further, this study examined whether or not there were differences in the perception of the participants and student achievement data in ARI schools and those in schools that contained both ARI and the Alabama Reading First Initiative (ARFI), a federally funded program for low performing schools. The 16 elementary schools in two Central Alabama School Systems were the focus of this study. The total population of the two systems, consisting of 17 principals, 153 teachers, and 20 reading coaches, were surveyed. Student achievement data for three cohorts of third grade students over a three year time span was examined to determine if test scores had improved and sustained as students advance to the next grade level. An analysis of the data collected from the surveys revealed that participants had positive perceptions of ARI. The majority of participants agreed that key ARI elements such as instructional leadership, instructional practices, reading coaches, collaboration, use of assessment data, and professional development were present in their schools. The participants also agreed that ARI was effective. Many of the participants agreed that ARI should be continued. The participants cited reading coaches and instructional strategies as two strong points of ARI. Some dissatisfaction was noted with the time allotted for collaboration and professional development activities. Participants also identified availability of time as an overall weakness of ARI. There were no outstanding differences in the perceptions of participants in AFRI/ARI schools and those in ARI only schools regarding the same key elements and ARI's effectiveness. A review of the student assessment did not support consistent improvement in achievement scores as students progressed from grade three to five. The data revealed fluctuations in achievement scores across grade levels. Only two of the 16 schools in this study exhibited steady improvement in assessment scores. Therefore, ARI's effect on student achievement in System 1 and System 2 was inconclusive. The student achievement data also did not reveal any notable differences between the scores of ARFI/ARI schools and ARI only schools. The results of this study did support the need for further research in ARI schools across the state. This study provides baseline data for future research. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Grade 3
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Alabama