Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)


Educational and School Psychology

First Advisor

Lynanne Black, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Becky Knickelbein, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Mark J. Staszkiewicz, Ed.D.

Fourth Advisor

Mary Lou Conroy, Psy.D.


Over thirty years of extant literature exists regarding reading instruction, yet consensus in the field continues to diverge in the area of reading intervention. Despite the establishment of research-based programs in all five areas of reading (phonemic awareness, alphabetic principle, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension), educators continue to implement interventions that do not have an established research base. This study sought to examine the effectiveness of two different reading interventions within a school district. Groups of students who received the Fast ForWord computerized reading intervention, published by Scientific Learning, were compared to other students who received an Orton-Gillingham-based intervention, the Sonday program. A third group of students who received both interventions were also included in the study. Students who did not receive any intervention were utilized as a control group. The interventions were implemented over one school year. Post-test scores were adjusted for pre-test differences using analysis of covariance statistical procedures. Results indicated that no differences existed between groups in the areas of basic reading skills and oral reading fluency, but modest post-intervention differences were found in the areas of word reading, pseudoword decoding, and reading comprehension skills, with the Sonday group demonstrating slightly higher reading comprehension skills than the Fast ForWord group, and the Fast ForWord group demonstrating slightly higher means in word reading and pseudoword decoding than the other three groups. Participation in both the Fast ForWord and Sonday interventions did not result in higher post-intervention adjusted means. Control participants had the highest post-test adjusted means.