School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Karen Parker

Primary Subject Area

Education, Curriculum and Instruction; Education, Reading


No Child Left Behind, Virginia Standards of Learning, reading improvement, rural


Curriculum and Instruction | Education


This mixed-methodology study described the reading curriculum and instructional changes that occurred in a small, rural, intermediate school in Virginia as a result of the No Child Left Behind legislation and Virginia’s Standards of Learning requirements. A special focus was placed on the progression of reading scores of the 2003-2004 fifth grade students to their eighth grade school year of 2006-2007. Since the Standards of Learning reading scores given in the spring of 2004 initiated the school improvement process for this school, the focus of this research was based on documenting these scores along with the school improvement process that incurred as a result. The reading test scores documented included the Virginia Reading Standards of Learning tests, the Gates Mac-Ginitie Reading Test, the Tests for Higher Standards, and STAR Reading. The research also consisted of a document analysis of the school improvement changes in the school, especially in the area of reading curriculum and instruction, implemented from May 2004 to June 2007. A major emphasis was placed on the school’s School Improvement Plan. As the school progressed through school improvement, the reading scores did increase including the scores of the focal group of students in this study. Curriculum alignment with the Virginia Standards of Learning, grade level pacing guides, and student data analysis were major approaches to improvement discussed in this study. However, the school has yet to meet AYP or Virginia accreditation standards due to the subgroups not meeting the Annual Measurable Objectives and low scores in other subject areas. Further study is encouraged to determine the future impact of the No Child Left Behind legislation on reading and on school improvement.