School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Samuel J Smith

Primary Subject Area

Education, Bilingual and Multicultural


This comparative study was designed to assess the efficacy of Reading A-Z, an online reading program with differentiated reading levels from kindergarten to sixth grade, on first through third grade Latino students. Ten Virginia elementary schools in a single school district participated in this study of tutoring services offered to low-performing, Spanish-speaking students. Increases in individual instructional reading levels (IRL) and word recognition in isolation (WRI), as measured by Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening (PALS) assessment, were documented using pretest scores collected in fall 2007 with posttest scores collected in spring 2008. An independent t-test was used to determine if differences in the treatment and control groups occurred prior to the intervention being implemented. An independent t-test was also used to determine if differences in the posttest scores of the two groups were prevalent after the intervention. No significant differences were found, and a paired sample t-test was used to calculate increases in IRL and WRI of the 46 Latino students in this study. Results suggest that increases were recognized in both the treatment and control groups for IRL and WRI. The increase in scores using Reading A-Z was no greater than with normal and accepted forms of remediation.