Date of Award

Spring 5-2009

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership and Research

Committee Chair

Ronald Styron

Committee Chair Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Committee Member 2

David Lee

Committee Member 2 Department

Educational Leadership and School Counseling

Committee Member 3

Gaylynn Parker

Committee Member 4

James T. Johnson


Educators today were concerned with how the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 dealt with the improvement of education throughout the United States. Schools should have put forth a greater effort and reduced the achievement gap between different groups of students based on race, gender, special education status, and if that student was economically disadvantaged. A problem was identified as low student MCT scores in the state of Mississippi. A tutorial method that claimed to help improve students in the areas of reading and language was identified as Fast ForWord.

This study set out to find if there was a significant improvement in student Mississippi Curriculum Test (MCT) reading and language scores after students completed the computer based program Fast ForWord. This study also set out to find if the teachers, teacher assistants, parents and administrators had a positive perception by about the Fast ForWord program. In other words did they feel the program improved student MCT reading and language scores? A sample of two hundred fifty one students was utilized in this study. A sample of one hundred four educators and parents was utilized in this study also.

The survey measured the perception that educators and parents had about the Fast ForWord program. The instrument measured the academic gain or loss by students in grades six through eight who had successfully completed the Fast ForWord program. The survey data was examined by reviewing all the variables in the descriptive statistics. The study found that administrators had a higher level of confidence than any of the other groups of educators or the parents.

A paired samples t-test was used to compare the MCT reading and language scores before and after completing the Fast ForWord program. The finding was not positive so the researcher ran a Pearson Chi-Square test to find out exactly how many students improved, stayed the same, or decreased their MCT reading or language score. The finding was that the majority of students either remained at the same level of proficiency or dropped a level of proficiency after completing the Fast ForWord.