Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Earl H. Cheek, Jr


Elementary school students walk single file to their respective classrooms where literacy should miraculously transpire. For literacy to occur, some schools adopt reading programs provided by their local district or state, while others utilize externally developed program designs. This multiple-case qualitative inquiry examined the externally developed program, Success for All, a program designed to benefit high poverty schools, founded by Robert Slavin and Nancy Madden as well as their cohorts at Johns Hopkins University. This research study examined the variances among seven teachers implementing the SFA reading program, "Reading Wings," in three schools in two school districts in Louisiana. It addressed the following questions: (a) To what extent do the teachers follow the "prescribed teaching methods" required by the Success for All reading program? (b) What are the attitudes and beliefs of the teachers toward the implementation of the Success for All reading program? (c) How do the teachers perceive themselves as reading teachers when utilizing the reading program? (d) What components of balanced reading instruction are implemented within the Success for All reading program? Several findings were forthcoming from the questions. First, none of the teachers followed the SFA requirements each day in the exact same manner; they deviated in use of time and activities. Second, many of the teachers considered the program to be a source of stress; they felt they never had enough time to complete either the paperwork or their regular duties. Third, the teachers felt that they were not allowed the creativity or autonomy to teach through their own methodology. Finally, the reading instruction was comprised of many of the components of balanced reading instruction; however, the oral reading necessary for the teacher to monitor decoding skills, as well as explicit phonics instruction, were omitted. Implications for further study were abundant. Behavior concerns, area specificities of programs, and correlation of material taught with material tested on standardized tests were determined to be future considerations. However, the findings provided insights into variances that could conceivably be controlled, thereby providing a more consistent implementation of SFA, thus, having a positive impact on instruction.