Date of Award

2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

First Advisor

Doug Eury

Abstract

This dissertation was designed to evaluate Project L.I.F.T and its plan to reduce the student achievement gap. A 5-year plan was proposed by investment researchers who recognized the importance of increasing student achievement and closing barriers in education. Trends in research data indicate that literacy significantly falls behind math on many state tests. Despite teacher professional development, innovative literacy practices, and interventions, there has not been an increase in literacy scores among minority subgroups such as African Americans and Hispanics. There is also a trend in achievement gaps among males and females.

Project L.I.F.T was granted $55 million to be innovative in its plans to reduce the student achievement gap and restructure the west corridor of the school district. The researcher examined the project's inputs, outputs, and outcomes to determine how teacher professional development (output) will be implemented in the quest to reduce the literacy gap. Various data collection instruments were utilized to gather teacher responses.

An analysis of the data revealed whether or not innovative plans used by Project L.I.F.T aided the zone in establishing teacher professional development plans that significantly reduced the literacy achievement gap among elementary age students. The data should also help the district establish the same innovative practices in other zones to improve sustainability of practices developed by Project L.I.F.T regarding teacher professional development.

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