Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. John W. Hill

Second Advisor

Dr. Karen L. Hayes

Third Advisor

Dr. Neal F. Grandgenett

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Kay A. Keiser


An intensive writing instruction and assessment preparation program was evaluated to determine its effectiveness in helping students improve their performance on a standardized statewide writing assessment. Following the six-week program, pretest to posttest gains made by 8th-grade students ( N = 74) revealed significant improvement in writing performance on the statewide assessment. As reflected by subject test scores, the control group of 8th-grade students (N = 86) also demonstrated significant pretest to posttest gains. Although posttest statewide writing assessment scores were significant for both groups, Norm Referenced Normal Curve Equivalent posttest measures dipped significantly for both groups. However, the achievement qualitative description of these scores at posttest remained in either the average or above average range for all participants. Furthermore, while a statistical difference between the groups of students was found for behavior measures the second semester levels of office referrals and tardies to class observed would be considered low for middle school students in general. The study's results should encourage local and state education officials to consider implementing this intensive writing instruction and assessment preparation program in middle schools across the research district and the state.


A Dissertation Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College of the University of Nebraska in Partial Fulfillment of Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Education. Copyright 2007 Edward J. Bennett

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