Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Education Systems Improvement Science

Committee Chair/Advisor

Dr. Noelle A. Paufler

Committee Member

Dr. Jacquelynn A. Malloy

Committee Member

Dr. Barbara J. Nesbitt

Committee Member

Dr. Daniella Hall Sutherland


The purpose of this research study was to examine how teachers use pedagogical data literacy methods using the South Carolina Multi-Tiered System of Supports (SCMTSS) framework, and its influence on positive student outcomes in reading achievement for all students and students receiving reading intervention supports in Kindergarten through third grade.

Teachers' pedagogical data literacy, or the intersection of educators' knowledge and skills to transform the data into instructional strategies to meet students' needs, provides a lens to fulfill the SCMTSS framework approach of using data-based problem solving to maximize growth of all students. This research study identified SCMTSS Tier I that needed revisions to strengthen the instructional effectiveness at Excellent Elementary School. The South Carolina Department of Education identifies three tiers of the SCMTSS framework necessary for successful implementation to result in positive student outcomes, including Tier I, Tier II, and Tier III instruction and interventions. The SCMTSS framework guides educators in identifying and addressing academic difficulties by monitoring student responses to target interventions at different tiers of instruction and providing data to direct the intervention process. The goal was to improve achievement using research-based interventions that correlate to students' levels and instructional needs.

After four years of implementing the tiered SCMTSS framework that provides early reading intervention to students who struggle, 78% of students at Excellent Elementary School needed support after the first year of reading intervention.

This study utilized a concurrent nested mixed methods approach using multiple types of instruments and approaches to data analysis through the use of the Plan-Do-Study-Act inquiry method of improvement science. Understanding variation in performance is an integral principle of improvement science. The vitality of improvement science lies with organizations understanding how to replicate successful results in varied situations. Ultimately, there needs to be transferability of the initiatives and interventions for continuous improvement to broadcast for the betterment of educational systems. This study informed efforts to increase students' literacy for all students and reduce the number of students who need continued reading support services for more than one school year.

Keywords: Office of Early Learning and Literacy, pedagogical data literacy, Response to Intervention, South Carolina Multi-Tiered System of Supports, socioeconomic status, South Carolina Department of Education



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