School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy in Education (PhD)


Jessica Talada


ANCOVA, DLI, reading fluency, school closure, STEM, STEAM


Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Elementary Education


The purpose of this quantitative causal-comparative study was to raise awareness of the effects of soft school closures on student reading fluency in traditional, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)-related, or Dual Language Immersion (DLI) schools. There is little research on which type of school, whether traditional, (STEM)-related, or (DLI) program is the most effective at helping students retain or improve upon their reading fluency once those students have been in an extended soft school closure. The study used Acadience reading fluency scores from the students' fourth grade mid-year scores as the covariate and their fifth grade mid-year scores as the dependent variable. The independent variable was the type of school program students were enrolled in. The participants were a convenience sample from the same school district and included 434 fifth grade elementary students. The data collected included the type of school students attended and Acadience reading information. An analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) determined the differences between the independent variables. This study resulted in the rejection of the null hypothesis. Type of school did have a significant effect on posttest Acadience fluency scores. It appeared that the DLI group had the highest posttest fluency scores compared to the traditional and STEM-related groups. Recommendations for the future would be to include a larger and more diverse group of students, having the study conducted in more geographical areas, include more grade levels, and include other types of school programs.