Date of Completion


Embargo Period


Major Advisor

Casey D. Cobb, Ph.D.

Associate Advisor

Anysia P. Mayer

Associate Advisor

Morgaen L. Donaldson

Field of Study

Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)


Doctor of Education

Open Access

Campus Access


This multiple case study examined the decisions that teachers make when implementing Scholastic’s READ 180 intensive reading intervention program in their middle school classrooms. This analysis focused on the events that occurred during the 2012-2013 school year in three middle schools across three distinct school districts. Conceptual frameworks such as teachers as change agents, teacher will and capacity, cognitive models of implementation and context for change guided the analysis and helped me understand the program implementation decisions of participants using the READ 180 program. Data were gathered primarily through formal classroom observations and teacher interviews and were supplemented by interviews with building administrators. Interview questions were designed based on three main areas of focus: prior experience with and personal attitude toward the program, conscious changes made to the program and the rationalizations thereof and reflection on school and student needs in regard to existing achievement gaps. Classroom observations that followed specific protocol were also conducted at three points during the school year at each of the three sites. Findings indicate that teachers made changes to the instructional model and materials recommended by the publisher largely in response to contextual stimuli, such as scheduling constraints, the presence and/or support of administrators, curricular and standardized testing pressures and technical training and/or support. These findings are consistent with literature on curricular implementation by educators; that is teachers act as change agents during program implementation, modifying programs according to their cognitive model, will to make the changes and their capacity to fully implement the curriculum. The results inform administrators on the factors that influence teachers’ behaviors in their implementation of curricular intervention programs, such as READ 180. Recommendations are offered to educational leaders who are looking to implement an intervention program such as READ 180 with increased fidelity.