Committee Chair

Miller, Ted L.

Committee Member

Bernard, Hinsdale; Guess, Pamela; Tucker, James A.


Dept. of Education


College of Health, Education, and Professional Studies


University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)


This study examined the results of a uniquely constructed literacy assessment technique, combining Dehn’s (2006) interpretation of psychological processing assessment and the Reading Rockets (Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications Association, Inc., 2005) interpretation of academic achievement. The study employed a quantitative descriptive research design using ex post facto data. The population was selected from one northwest Georgia school district and consisted of 54 elementary school students (first through fifth grades). Participants in the population met the following criteria: 1) received three tiers of reading intervention in the RTI process, 2) were referred for initial special education consideration, 3) were from either a primarily English or Spanish-speaking home, and 4) received a psycho-educational evaluation using the combined literacy assessment technique during the 2007-2008 school year and first semester of the 2008-2009 school year. The presence of a processing deficit was determined for each participant in each of the eight areas assessed: phonemic awareness, auditory processing, working memory, long-term retrieval, fluid reasoning, executive processing, processing speed, and visual-motor integration. Decisional statistics were performed, and the results showed that working memory and long-term retrieval deficits were most prevalent. Participants’ mean academic achievement scores were collected in eight areas, and a one-way ANOVA technique was performed to analyze the population’s mean achievement scores by three factors: primary language in the home, gender, and years of instruction. Results indicated that the students who primarily speak English in the home exhibi ted significantly higher mean achievement scores in the Letter and Word Re cognition, Word Reading Fluency, Reading Comprehension, Listening Comprehension, and Oral Expression subtests. Female students exhibited significantly higher mean achievement scores in Oral Expression and Written Expression, and students with the least amount of school instruction exhibited significantly higher mean achievement scores in the areas of Letter and Word Recognition and Written Expression. Factors such as breadth of vocabulary, environmental language exposure, and the district’s first grade intervention programming were considered to account for the differences in the population’s combined literacy assessment outcomes. Implications for the school district ’s intervention and assessment design processes were provided.


Ed. D.; A dissertation submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Education.




Literacy -- Study and teaching (Elementary)


Educational Leadership

Document Type

Doctoral dissertations




xi, 113 leaves