Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Michael F. DiPaola


The purposes of this study were to conduct a formative evaluation in the third year of one district's implementation of a balanced literacy model to determine the degree of fidelity of implementation as well as to identify successes and challenges experienced by instructional staff. The evaluation model was designed from the constructivist paradigm using Scriven's (1991) goal-free evaluation as a framework. In conducting the evaluation, lesson plans were analyzed, classroom observations were conducted and interviews and focus groups were facilitated. The resulting qualitative data and descriptive statistics revealed implementation gaps and needs in the areas of writing and word study instruction as well as in the use of some resources. Participants identified the materials, release time for planning and increased collaboration as successes, and identified lack of time to plan and to teach, the scope and sequence of the curricula, writing and word study instruction, assessment and professional development as challenges. Leadership behaviors emerged from the evaluation as an important consideration when implementing initiatives; in the end, the literacy model's implementation evaluation served as the context from which leadership challenges at the school and district level emerged.



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