Date of Award


Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Education, PhD


School of Educational Studies

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Emilie Reagan

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Frances Gipson

Dissertation or Thesis Committee Member

Thomas Luschei

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© 2023 Frances Baez


Data entry, DIBELS, Early literacy, Learning loss due to Pandemic, School funding history

Subject Categories



Addressing early literacy needs of students has become compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic, distance learning, and compromised student wellness. In addition, research suggests that the gaps in reading achievement between Black and Latin/x students from under-resourced communities and their White and Asian counterparts increased with remote learning during the pandemic. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationships between change in first grade reading achievement and factors that were supported by an equity-funding reading initiative. Specifically, I examined the change in reading achievement from the beginning of the year to the end of the year of 880 socioeconomically disadvantaged Latinx first grade students who were assigned a teacher and were enrolled across 42 schools in a large urban district. To predict change in first grade reading achievement, I included two independent variables—time spent in reading instruction and time reading with the teacher—while taking into account student characteristics such as English learner status, student disability status, and student gender. Findings suggested that first grade reading achievement significantly improved from the beginning of the year to the end of the year, but reading improvement varied by subgroup including special education status and English learner designation. Further, while each school was assigned a reading teacher, specific variables were not significant predictors of improved reading achievement, which may be due to limitations of reporting these variables. The findings from this study may guide school district investment towards early literacy interventions, such as assigned reading teachers, small group instruction, and one-to-one instruction to support early literacy achievement, and data collection, monitoring, and reporting that may mitigate the impact on learning loss during the pandemic.



Available for download on Friday, March 06, 2026

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