Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Michael F. DiPaola


This program evaluation was undertaken to examine the relationship between participation in Project iRead and student gains in word recognition, fluency, and comprehension as measured by the Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS) Test. Linear regressions compared the 2012-13 PALS results from 5,140 first and second grade students at adopting and non-adopting schools. Similar regressions were performed at early and late adopting schools. The outcomes for Project iRead indicated statistically significant improvement in word recognition at the district level. However, the results were not practically significant as less than 1% of the variation was explained by the model. In addition, Project iRead appeared to have negative relationships with word recognition, fluency, and comprehension when comparisons were conducted at early and late adopting schools. Practice changes and further research would improve our understanding of both sight word instruction and Project iRead. Amendments to Project iRead's implementation manual and additions to its Virtual Flash Card repertoire may increase practical outcomes. A qualitative study may explain present outcomes. Research that includes disability status and word recognition as predictors may provide more insight into Project iRead's best uses. Finally, limiting the data set to students 2 standard deviations from the mean or to students who are at or below grade level benchmarks may be more indicative of this program's relationship to gains in reading.



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