A Program Evaluation Of The Reading Mastery Initiative In A Rural Primary School
Educational success and attainment, and individual sustainability depend on reading ability. School leaders, especially at the elementary and primary level, have great responsibility ensuring student success in learning to read. In this era of standards-based curriculum and high stakes testing and accountability, school leaders must be certain the programs employed to grow student reading ability are successful. This program evaluation analyzes the effects implementing a scripted, direct instruction reading program has had at a rural, primary school. Specifically, this study investigated the correlation between the Scholastic Reading Inventory and the Virginia Third Grade Reading Standards of Learning Assessment, analyzed the extent student achievement changed on the two assessments from implementing the Reading Mastery initiative, and determined the extent the practice of regrouping students for instructional alignment was utilized and the effect it had on student achievement. Findings indicate a moderate correlation between the Scholastic Reading Inventory and the Third Grade Reading Standards of Learning Assessment, a significant increase in Lexile when comparing beginning and end of year scores, a significant decline in Standards of Learning Assessment scores when comparing three years pre-Reading Mastery implementation to three years post implementation, and found that students remaining in their original program placement demonstrated greater Lexile and grade level equivalency growth than students regrouped to a lower level or accelerated. If program goals, increasing reading ability and increasing Standards of Learning pass rates are to be obtained, Reading Mastery initiative implementation will require modifications. Recommendations for policy, practice, and future studies are included.