Open Access Thesis
Reading (Elementary) -- Iowa -- Cedar Falls;
Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 initiated federal aid to education on a large scale. Since Title I's inception, evaluative data have been attempting to demonstrate conclusively the value of the program in reducing reading failure. This study investigated the effectiveness of the Cedar Falls Title I reading program within the evaluation models established by the Title I Evaluation and Reporting System (TIERS). In addition, this study investigated the effectiveness of the Diagnostic and Instructional Materials and Procedures for Improved Instruction in the Area of Reading Comprehension (DMPRC) in improving reading instruction in Title I. The study consisted of a three-stage evaluation: first, the reading growth of Title I participants over ined based on the no-treatment expectation of a norm-referenced testing instrument; second, the reading growth of Title I students was compared to similarly qualifying students who were not project participants; and third, the reading growth experienced after the implementation of the DMPRC instructional materials was compared to prior reading growth. Specifically three research questions were investigated: 1. Did second-, third-, and fourth-grade students involved in the Title I reading program experience reading growth greater than would have been expected without Title I assistance? Ho: There is no significant difference in reading scores between the no-treatment expectation and the observed reading performance for Title I students. 2. Did second-, third-, and fourth-grade students involved in the Title I program experience greater gains than similarly qualifying students who were not selected for participation? Ho: There is no significant difference in reading growth between Title I students, and non-Title I students. 3. Did second-, third-, and fourth-grade Title I students, after the fall of 1978 demonstrate greater comprehension growth than Title I students prior to that date as a result of instruction with a specifically designed comprehension program? Ho: There is no significant difference in reading growth of Title I students prior to and after instruction with the specific comprehension program. To answer the evaluation questions, all second-, third-, and fourth-grade students eligible for Title I instruction in three Cedar Falls, Iowa Title I elementary schools were studied for the four school years between 1976 and 1980. For the first section of the study, the Title I treatment effect was determined by analyzing the pre- and posttest scores of the Gates-MacGinitie Reading Test. In accordance with Model Al guidelines of the Title I Evaluation and Reporting System (TIERS), the no-treatment expectation is the NCE rank of the group at pretest time. When the group's posttest score is higher than the pretest NCE rank, the assumption is made that the improvement was the result of Title I participation. Educational significance was established for all three grades over all four years, with statistical significance established for grades two and three. Educational significance ranged from+ 3.00 to+ 22.00 NCEs. The second section of the study dealt with the treatment effect of the Title I participation by a comparison of Title I and non-Title I reading scores on the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. In accordance with Model Bl guidelines of the TIERS, the first procedures in the implementation of Model Bl were to establish the comparability and similarity of the two groups for evaluation purposes. Because the groups differed by more than the recommended 4 NCEs, the interpretive value of these data were limited; however, examination of this section of the research study posed unanswered questions dealing with establishing control groups, conducting the appropriate data analysis, and the compatibility of the TIERS Models Al and Bl for evaluation purposes. Even though no statistically significant differences were noted, second- and third-grade students' scores over the three-year study exceeded their initial NCE rank in both the Title I and non-Title I groups while fourth graders did not. Related to the first two research questions regarding the effectiveness of Title I programs in producing reading growth beyond a no-treatment expectation is the question of determining what educational programs are the most effective in eliminating reading failure. The third research question asked in this study dealt with the implementation of a diagnostic and prescriptive comprehension program developed by the Cedar Falls Title I staff with a Title I grant, the Diagnostic and Instructional Materials and Procedures for Improved lns.t:ruction in the Area of Reading Comprehension. By combining test scores data for the two years prior to the date the DMPRC materials were implemented, a no-treatment expectation was established. The combined score of the two years after the program's implementation formed the treatment comparison. While overall students showed greater gain scores after instruction with the DMPRC, the main effect was at the second-grade level where significance was demonstrated at the .001 level of significance. The results of this research study did establish the effectiveness of comprehension instruction with the DMPRC toward increased reading gain scores for second-grade Title I students.
Year of Submission
Master of Arts in Education
Department of Curriculum and Instruction
Catherine W. Hatcher
Marlene I. Strathe
1 PDF file (99 leaves)
©1981 Katherine Dyke Beebe
Beebe, Katherine Dyke, "Evaluation of the Cedar Falls, Iowa Title I reading program in grades two, three, four: With an emphasis on comprehension instruction" (1981). Dissertations and Theses @ UNI. 1447.