Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


School of Education


The purpose of this study was to determine if SuccessMaker Reading had an

effect on at-risk students when used with a Language Arts course. SuccessMaker Reading

is a web-based system that provides reading skills practice that align with state standards.

The sample of this study consisted of seventh (2019) and eighth (2018) grade classes

from a Midwestern suburban middle school district during the fall of the 2017-2018

school year.

At-risk Language Arts students who have not achieved proficiency in reading

were enrolled in SuccessMaker Reading. This study analyzed if SuccessMaker Reading

had an effect on growth on the NWEA-MAP winter reading assessment, MyPerspectives

pre and post assessments, and a student's Language Arts course grades. A comparison

was performed on students who were not enrolled in SuccessMaker Reading. This study

was a quasi-experimental study using a pretest-posttest design.

The results of this study indicated that SuccessMaker users closed the

achievement gap on the NWEA-MAP reading assessment by 31.0%. SuccessMaker users

had higher mean composite/percent reading growth, slightly higher means on the

MyPerspectives post assessment and higher mean quarter and semester grades than nonSuccessMaker

users. There was statistical significance with NWEA-MAP winter reading

growth, grade, gender, race, and time spent or incremental growth on SuccessMaker


According to the 2016 Illinois School Report Card, only 38% of reading students

met or exceeded the goal of the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and

Careers (PARCC) exam. This past 2017 school year only 36% of students met or

exceeded the reading goal for PARCC (Illinois School Report Card, 2017). If students are

to prepare for college and career the percentage of students meeting or exceeding the goal

established by PARCC must improve. Educators need proven interventions to assist

students in learning the skills necessary to meet the outlined criteria of proficiency.