Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies

Committee Chair

Helen M Hazi

Committee Co-Chair

Bonnie A Ritz

Committee Member

Neal Shanbaugh

Committee Member

M Cecil Smith

Committee Member

Samuel F Stack

Committee Member

Keith W Trahan


Initiatives that research tells us should be increasing achievement for poor children have not succeeded in reducing the achievement gap for the low socioeconomic subset in the United States and in West Virginia schools (Reardon, 2011; WVDE, 2009). This study developed a valid and reliable instrument to examine teachers' perceptions of the use of 16 research based initiatives that have been directed to improving the achievement gap of poor children. The research question was: What are the psychometric properties of a survey instrument that is designed to assess teachers' perceptions of the uses and effectiveness of reform initiatives that have been implemented in high poverty schools to address the academic achievement of low-SES students in Title I schools? The survey asks teachers about nine policy implementation factors for each of these reform initiatives as well as whether the initiative has improved the academic achievement of their students. Finally, the survey examines the significance of seven teacher demographics on perceptions. There were two phases: 1) the development of the instrument, and 2) establishing the validity and reliability of the instrument. Phase 1 consisted of the survey items for the instrument and the four components in the design of the study-- identifying and describing the problem; the review of literature; identifying the specific target population and method for collecting data; and instrument development. In Phase 2 validity was established through a panel of experts. Reliability for each initiative and all factors was established through a split-half reliability test using Cronbach's Alpha. Reliability was established for all initiatives and factors with the minimum reliability coefficient at .749 and a maximum of .994. This instrument can be used with confidence that it is valid and reliable. The survey can be used in West Virginia or adapted for use at other locations to measure teachers' use and perceptions of those reform initiatives that may help improve the academic achievement of poor children and narrow the achievement gap for the low socioeconomic subset.