Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)


School of Education

Degree Name



Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Trevor Turner

Second Advisor

Dr. Ganga Persaud

Third Advisor

Dr. Edward Williams


National trends in reading indicate African-American students continue to perform lower than white students. Key findings from the 2005 Reading Report card show white students in grades 4 and 8 scored higher on average than black and Hispanic students. The purpose of this study was to determine if a Balanced Reading format had an impact on the reading achievement of African-American students. It further explored the effects of teacher instructional methods, lesson planning, and student demographics (gender, ethnicity, SES) on the reading achievement of African-American students. Research was conducted in a suburban K-5 elementary school using data generated by students sores for the Fall (pretest) and Spring (posttest) administration of Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) norm-referenced test in reading. Gain comparisons were determined using a Paired Samples t Test and An Analysis of Variance between the experimental and control groups as well as student demographic effects. Pre and post teacher lesson plans were evaluated using a High Definition Lesson Planning format to identify growth in lesson planning. Teacher instructional methods were evaluated utilizing an Observation Based Instructional Assessment (OBIA) instrument to identify the implementation of higher order thinking skills, identification of student academic needs, and the incorporation of student social experiences in the instructional delivery of reading by the teacher. The results of the study revealed gain scores for both the experimental and control groups indicating the Balanced Reading format for teaching reading is effective with students. Although both groups experienced gains, the experimental group's gain was higher further indicating the treatment of lesson plan evaluation using the HDLP and teacher instructional methods as evidenced through teacher observations using the OBIA instrument was effective in raising student achievement. Through an analysis of data, student demographics of SES and ethnicity revealed an effect on student gain scores based on results of MAP posttest data. The implications of this research for administrators is the importance of differentiating instruction through effective lesson planning to meet the needs of students and the incorporation of higher order thinking skills and questions during reading instruction based on student readiness, teaching reading strategies and skills and providing multiple opportunities for reading to promote student achievement in reading.

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