Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Karen O'Donnell

Second Advisor

Bradley Fuller

Third Advisor

Carla Sparks


The need for effective content area reading teachers have continued to increase since the introduction of one public school districts’ Content Area Reading Professional Development (CAR-PD) in 2006. In 2011, modifications were made to improve the program, and it became known as the Next Generation Content Area Reading Professional Development (NGCAR-PD). The purpose of this program evaluation is to investigate the relationship between NGCAR-PD certified Biology teachers and their ability to implement reading strategies with science content effectively. The context of this inquiry is a mid-sized public school district that has implemented the program since 2006 at the middle and high school level with content area teachers. This study demonstrates that the expected outcomes of a program completer do not match the actual results. Quantitative and qualitative data revealed that specific improvements were needed for the NGCAR-PD program for teachers to be effective when implementing reading comprehension strategies with students in content area classrooms.


As a district leader in a public school district, I am passionate about student success as it relates to reading comprehension in content area classes. My work involves supporting administrators and teachers in a variety of ways. While I am in my third year as a district leader, my background includes nine years as a classroom science teacher, and two years as an instructional coach. I completed the Content Area Reading Professional Development (CAR-PD) program in 2008 and began integrating reading strategies into Biology classes. As I continually worked towards effective implementation of reading strategies with students, I noticed the positive difference it was making in their state assessment scores. They could read and comprehend the assessment, which led them to improved achievement scores. Upon entering my current position, I walked through science classrooms and noticed that CAR-PD certified teachers were not implementing reading strategies with any kind of consistency. They were all on a variety of levels of implementation, even after going through either CAR-PD or Next Generation Content Area Reading Professional Development (NGCAR-PD) programs. This observation made me question the program's effectiveness for teachers. The teachers' effectiveness in implementing reading strategies correlates with students' success in content area reading comprehension. This study is vital because the expected outcomes for NGCAR-PD certified teachers do not match the actual result that is occurring. This outcome is directly affecting the education that our students are receiving. The leadership lesson that has resonated from this research is those district leaders, school leaders, and teachers must have ongoing support with this type of vi program to produce the desired outcomes. There must be guidelines set for all involved and regular collaboration meetings to ensure we are meeting needs. It is disconcerting that leaders expected an eight-month program to create immediate and continuing effective content area reading teachers. As a leader, when I want an application to be useful for students, I must make sure it is sufficient for the teachers; otherwise, all efforts are futile.