Analyzing Beginning and Adolescent Reading Programs: Exploring Issues of Content, Coherence, and Assessment

Diane Kinder, University of Washington - Tacoma Campus
Marcy Stein, University of Washington - Tacoma Campus
Jean Osborn


Two curriculum evaluation projects were conducted in response to requests from practitioners interested in determining the quality of commercially developed reading programs. The 1st project, sponsored by 3 school districts in Texas, focused on 5 1st grade reading programs. The 2nd, conducted at the request of junior high, middle-, and high-school teachers from several school districts in the Pacific Northwest, examined 8 remedial reading programs. The evaluation criteria, used in both projects, were organized into 3 areas: program content, program coherence, and student assessment. Results of application of these criteria to beginning and adolescent reading programs are reported. These projects generated the necessary preliminary work for the development of a research-based curriculum evaluation instrument. The paper concludes with recommendations for further work in the development of reliable and valid instruments to help educators evaluate and select curricular materials. A list of Reading Programs Analyzed are appended. (Contains 8 tables.)