Date of Award

August 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Psychology

First Advisor

Markeda Newell

Committee Members

Karen Stoiber, David Klingbeil, Cindy Walker, Nancy Rice


Evidence-based Interventions, Integrity, Progress Monitoring, Reading, Response-to-Intervention, Training


The purpose of this study was to examine how financial capacity and reading achievement contribute to the implementation of high-quality reading interventions in the context of RtI. As a secondary research interest, the relationship between reading achievement and intervention intensity was examined. Financial capacity was operationalized in terms of per-pupil expenditure, while achievement was examined based on performance on the state standardized test. The quality of reading interventions was defined by four indicators: 1) evidence-based reading interventions, 2) psychometrically sound progress monitoring, 3) treatment integrity measures, and 4) interventionist training. Data regarding these four indicators and intervention intensity were obtained via a state administered survey (92 respondents with a response rate of 59.0%). Using a regression-based approach (i.e., linear and ordinal regression), the present findings indicated that reading proficiency and per-pupil-expenditure were not significantly predictive of the use of high-quality reading interventions at Tier 2 or Tier 3, across any of the four quality indicators: evidence-based interventions, progress monitoring tools, treatment integrity measures, and interventionist training. The lack of significant relationships between per-pupil expenditure, achievement levels, and the quality of evidence-based reading interventions is hypothesized to have occurred for two inter-related reasons: 1) schools appear to be at varying stages of RtI implementation, and 2) most schools appear to be at an early stage of implementation. Consistent with expectations, and the theoretical RtI model, intervention provision at Tier 3 was significantly more intense than at Tier 2. This finding is encouraging in terms of schools personnel’s’ capacity to provide interventions at varying intensities based on student need. Despite these expected findings, a significant relationship was not observed between achievement levels and intervention intensity at Tier 2 or Tier 3. Collectively, results indicated that the impact of school-level funding and school-level achievement may be too distally related to the provision of interventions at an early point in implementation. These results highlight the necessity for conceptualizing school-based program implementation from a theoretical perspective, which will enable an understanding of how systems-level variables differentially impact implementation across stages and ensure that schools can be appropriately supported in their implementation.