University of Missouri - Saint Louis

The Graduate School


An oral examination in defense of the dissertation for the degree

Doctorate in Education

Scott Andrews
M.A. Education Administration 1998, University of Missouri-Saint Louis,M.A. Special Education 1998, University of Missouri-Saint Louis
B.S. Food Science and Nutrition 1986, University of Missouri-Columbia

Development and Use of Essential Learning Goals and Their Effect on Student Reading Achievement in Grades Two through Five.



This study investigates the use of Essential Learning Goals and their effect on student learning in grades two through five. Teachers in the treatment group participated in a year long professional development program that incorporated the concepts developed by Wiggins and McTighe (2011) in their research “Understanding by Design”, Marzano’s (2009) work on development of learning goals and objectives, and Hess’s (2007) work on Learning Progressions. The treatment provided training to teachers through a professional development program specifically designed to enhance teachers’ content knowledge and delivery skills to improve student achievement in reading. Student achievement was measured using a district wide communication arts assessment tool which evaluated fourteen different data points over a two year period. Scores were evaluated to determine if there was a significant improvement in reading scores after the teachers participated in the professional development treatment. Scores were collected using the E-valuate electronic assessment tool. During the baseline year, student achievement scores improved in a similar ratio to the control group, however during the treatment year, the mean score for the control group only increased by 2.27 points while the mean score for the treatment group increased by 12.57 points. This suggests that professional development specifically designed to improve academic achievement is effective.


Date:June 27, 2013

Time: 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Place: The Learning Center, Conference Room #1


Defense of Dissertation Committee


Carol Murphy Ph. D (Advisor)

Helene Sherman Ph. D.


Cody Ding Ph. D.

Kathleen Brown Ph. D.