Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership


Dr. Kimberly Flowers


The purpose of this dissertation was to determine the predictive effects of poverty, gender, native language spoken, and English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century (ELPA21) proficiency on reading performance measured by the ACT Aspire Summative Reading Assessment for Grades 4, 7, and 10 English language learners in a Northwest Arkansas school district. Through Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory, the influence of poverty, gender, native language spoken, and ELPA21 proficiency were studied for influences on reading performance. Through a multiple regression analysis I examined the Spring 2019 state assessment and demographic data collected from over 20,000 student records. The findings revealed a significance in gender and ELPA21 proficiency in determining reading performance for Grades 4 and 7, with native language spoken and ELPA21 proficiency having significance in Grade 10. ELPA21 proficiency had the most significance in determining reading performance with a large effect size in Grades 4 (24.4%), 7 (21.6%), and 10 (23.4%). The large effect demonstrated the understanding of language comprehension as a key to literacy. Based on the findings, language instruction should be a base for literacy development and support educators in focusing professional development efforts toward examining the need for language development as a key to foundational literacy.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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