Date of Award

Fall 11-1-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Phillip Pendley

Second Advisor

James Spence

Third Advisor

Laurie Goodman


Purpose: The purpose of this quantitative study was to determine what correlation exists between a student’s poverty coefficient and the daily number of minutes provided for independent reading and third grade reading achievement level as measured by California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) in small, rural school districts. An additional purpose of the study was to determine what correlation exists between teacher mindset on student achievement and reading achievement in the third grade as measured by CAASPP scores and teacher perception questionnaires, in small, rural school districts?

Methodology: This study employed quantitative, correlational study, by using data from two instruments to address the RQs. This study uses the data collection and analysis of numerical data, specifically the poverty coefficient and English language arts proficiency using measuring CAASPP data. Additional data was collected to determine the number of instructional minutes provided for independent reading and data was retrieved for the poverty coefficient. Questionnaires were given to each teacher in the study to determine if there was a correlation between teacher mindset and student achievement.

Findings: In order to begin to close the reading achievement gap, there must be a consideration of changing current educational systems as well as the mindset of educators on the abilities of at-risk, high-poverty students. In addition, this research supports a consideration to re-evaluate how silent reading is structured in classrooms of high poverty, rural school districts. In addition, further consideration might be taken toward implementing viable, supplemental reading programs in lieu of extended sustained silent reading.

Conclusions: Access to high quality education is the foundation of a framework that has the potential to mitigate the effects of a cycle of poverty, rife with high unemployment, low wages and a menial existence.

Recommendations: It is recommended that a future study take place on the correlation between teacher mindset affects classroom instruction, classroom management and student engagement. Future research could be conducted utilizing a qualitative methodology, (observations, interviews, focus groups, etc.) instead of the quantitative TSES tool to assess the levels of self-efficacy regarding instruction and the impact of instruction on classroom management.