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ERIC Number: ED534162
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 202
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1249-3828-8
Meeting the Goal of 100% Literacy: The Planning, Implementation, and Progress of the Alabama Reading Initiative at High School Literacy Demonstration Sites
Norman, Mary Elizabeth
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Alabama State University
Literacy is a nationwide concern. Although the national spotlight and numerous studies have focused on early literacy, the needs of adolescent readers have just come to the forefront. The Alabama State Department of Education responded to this nationwide concern for K-12 literacy by planning and implementing the Alabama Reading Initiative (ARI). The ARI is a whole school reform model which concentrates on the teaching and learning of reading. Although there are high schools that are ARI literacy demonstration sites, the vast majority of schools are primary/elementary schools. One of the reasons that the majority of ARI sites are elementary schools is that then Governor Bob Riley mandated that all Alabama K-3 schools had to participate in the initiative. Also, because the foundation of reading is taught in elementary schools, it seemed strategic to implement the initiative in elementary schools so as to give students a strong foundation. Finally, high school sites might not have been as apt to join the initiative, as teaching reading is not necessarily a part of the culture and context of high schools. The purpose of this study was to bring evidence to the proposition that the ARI had an effect on the reading subtest of the Alabama High School Graduation Exam (AHSGE). This study consisted of three parts. In Study One, a longitudinal analysis was conducted to analyze the percentage of 11th graders at high school ARI Literacy Demonstration Sites who passed the reading subtest of the AHSGE. In Study Two, the percentage of 11th graders who passed the reading subtest of the AHSGE at each ARI site during their fourth and fifth years in the program was compared to the mean of the percentage of 11th graders in the State of Alabama who passed the reading subtest of the AHSGE. For Study Three, the percentage of 11th graders who passed the reading subtest of the AHSGE at a sample of high school ARI sites was compared to the percentage of 11th graders that passed the reading subtest of the AHSGE at non ARI high schools with students who had comparable demographics. Not only did each part of the study review the data for all 11th graders taking the AHSGE reading subtest, but also for the disaggregated subgroups. Although some ARI sites seemed to be progressing toward the goal of 100% literacy, other ARI sites showed a decrease in the percentage in 11th graders' passing the AHSGE reading subtest. The findings of this study support previous evaluations of the ARI: although there are ARI sites which are making progress toward 100% literacy, others are not. The findings also support that while there were gains early in the program, those gains seemed to be lost over time. Even though the crafters of the ARI used sound elements of planning, it appears as though the problems that have been found in the planning and implementation of the ARI are the same that one often finds in planning and implementing most change efforts: scalability, fidelity to implementation, and sustaining the change effort. Therefore, administrators who are considering joining the program must be committed to sustaining the ARI after the initial gains in test scores. [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:
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Grade 11; High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Alabama
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Alabama High School Graduation Examination