Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education


Hollis Horton

Committee Member

Linda Gaughan

Committee Member

Barbara Christina

Committee Member

Camille Coke


achievement, education, leadership, reading, success, writing


English Language Arts (ELA) test scores have declined since the 2020 COVID-19 virus caused schools and districts in the United States and around the world to shut down for substantial periods of time. School and district leaders and teachers across the country are working to increase ELA achievement.

In this generic qualitative research study, local district, school, and teacher leaders were interviewed and asked questions about their experiences with increasing reading and writing achievement using semi-structured interview protocols.

Four research questions were addressed. They concerned the challenges, successes, supports, guidance, mandates, and advice offered by district, school, and teacher leaders who participated in individual interviews about how best to increase reading and writing achievement.

Major findings were that teachers, families, and students must work together to remediate weak academic preparation and motivation. Also, administrators must share and build collective efficacy and vision. District leaders must use resources wisely. Finally, all district personnel mists keep excellence at the forefront.

Recommendations for future research would be to conduct a quantitative study to identify areas districts need to improve to increase reading and writing achievement and to determine trends in reading skills. Further qualitative research would also be beneficial in districts with different demographics and prior academic success.