Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy





First Advisor

Constance Beecher

Second Advisor

Byeong-young Cho


Several national and international studies have indicated that there is an achievement gap between student literary reading and student informational reading, with the gap favoring literary reading. One plausible explanation for this gap is that reading informational text has been neglected in early grades in the U.S. (Dreher, 2003; Kletzien & Dreher, 2004; Moss, 2008; Moss & Newton, 2002). Even more concerning, students from low-SES families seem to be struggling more with informational text than their affluent peers, since children in low-SES schools are historically reported to have fewer opportunities to develop their informational text reading skills compared to students in affluent schools (Duke, 2000b). In recent years, with the implementation of Common Core State Standards, more emphasis has been placed on students’ ability to comprehend and write informational text. However research gaps exist in the domain of opportunity to learn informational text and literary text in schools with different SES.

The purpose of this study is to bridge these research gap by fulfilling three primary goals: 1) examine students’ opportunity to learn (content exposure and content emphasis of) informational text relative to their opportunity to learn (content exposure and content emphasis of) literary text; 2) investigate if there is inequity between low- and high- SES schools with regards to students’ opportunity to learn informational text; 3) explore the relationship between SES, opportunity to learn (content exposure and content emphasis), and student reading performance. Descriptive statistics, paired-sample t-tests, latent profile analysis, and structural equation modeling were used.

Results suggest that there was no significant difference among schools in terms of content exposure of literary text and informational text, but students in low-SES schools appeared to have more content emphasis of both literary text and informational text. School SES was not significantly associated with content exposure of literary text and informational text, however, school SES was negatively associated with content emphasis of literary text and informational text. In the area of reading, opportunity to learn in schools displayed minimal or no effect on student performance in reading informational text.

Copyright Owner

Dan Li



File Format


File Size

113 pages

Included in

Education Commons