Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)


Educational and School Psychology

First Advisor

Lynanne Black, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Joseph F. Kovaleski, D.Ed., NCSP

Third Advisor

Mark Staszkiewicz, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Timothy J. Runge, Ph.D., NCSP


Early identification and intervention for students at risk for reading failure is essential to establish the foundational skills necessary for students to become skilled readers. The focus on evidence-based practices and data-driven decision making leads educators to consider additional instructional approaches, such as formative assessment (FA) and student goal-setting (SG), as part of an intervention program to prevent reading failure. This quantitative and qualitative research study examines the effect of FA and SG on the reading achievement of students at risk for reading failure, as well as evaluates teachers' perceptions of its influence on students' learning habits, motivation toward reading tasks, and self-efficacy. Further, a review of archival special education data investigates the effect of FA and SG on the identification of students with specific learning disabilities (SLD). Additionally, survey data and summaries from a focus group discussion gathered from reading specialists about FA and SG are discussed. Overall, the analysis yielded insignificant results when examining the effect of FA and SG on students‟ reading achievement when comparing PSSA scores; however, closer examination of proficiency categories suggested a positive effect on reading skills. Based on the findings, significantly fewer students from the FA and SG group were identified with a SLD in reading than students instructed without an evidence-based intervention. The results from the survey and discussion group added further insight into the effects of FA and SG on reading skill acquisition. Commonly, teachers reported observing positive effects on students‟ achievement, learning habits, motivation toward reading tasks, and reading self-efficacy. The use of a convenience sample and archival data collected over the course of different academic school years limits the generalizability of the results from the present study. A review of archival data from the same academic year would have been more methodologically sound and produced more conclusive findings. Additionally, the results of the survey and discussion group are limited due to the small sample size and potential of respondents to respond in a socially desirable way. Therefore, further research should be conducted to examine the impact FA and SG has on students' achievement.