Date of Award

Spring 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Curriculum, Instruction, and Leadership

First Advisor

Kimberly Kimbell-Lopez


Good, Kaminski, Simmons and Kamenui (2001) declared a national awareness of the benefits of early reading success and the negative consequences of early reading failure. One method discussed for prevention of reading failure was the implementation of screening programs employed to measure reading skills, predict success of future reading success, and inform instruction that would hopefully eliminate reading failure. In the current study, the primary research question was to investigate the Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills (DIBELS) Oral Reading Fluency (DIBELS ORF) benchmark and screening program and its predictive abilities on reading comprehension achievement measured by the integrated Louisiana Educational Assessment Program English Language Arts (iLEAP ELA) scores for third-grade students. The secondary research question was to examine whether the AIMSweb Reading-Curriculum Based Measurement (R-CBM) oral reading fluency benchmark and progress monitoring system could predict reading comprehension achievement on the Louisiana Educational Assessment Program English Language Arts (LEAP ELA) scores for fourth-grade students. Finally, determining accuracy of risk status determined by oral reading fluency screening programs, DIBELS ORF and AIMSweb R-CBM, and their relation to reading comprehension achievement, according to iLEAP ELA and LEAP ELA, was an additional purpose of the study.

A non-experimental, causal comparative study was conducted to examine oral reading fluency scores and reading comprehension scores in the school year 2011-2012. The data were obtained from third- and fourth-grade students who attended five elementary schools within one rural Louisiana district.

The findings revealed the strongest correlation and prediction between oral reading fluency and reading comprehension existed when oral reading fluency was measured by DIBELS ORF, administered in Grade 3, and reading comprehension was measured by LLEAP ELA Standard 1: Reading, comprehending, and responding, also administered in Grade 3. However, significant correlations and evidence of predictive validity were also verified when oral reading fluency was measured using DIBELS ORF and Reading Standard 7 in third grade. Additionally, when AIMSweb R-CBM and reading comprehension measures LEAP ELA Reading Standards 1, 6 and 7 were employed to examine relationship in Grade 4, significant correlations and predictions were found. Furthermore, findings revealed that the scores from the oral reading fluency measures and the scores from the reading comprehension measures were dependent on one another.

Research revealed the importance of the Reading First (RF) initiative developed to improve American reading programs (U.S. Department of Education, 2012). One of the reading programs developed under RF was DIBELS. This study confirmed that oral reading fluency screening programs, like DIBELS ORF and AIMSweb R-CBM, were significantly related to reading comprehension measured in standardized assessments.