Evaluating the K-12 Literacy Curriculum

As your school district undertakes the process of evaluating its K–12 reading program, literacy curriculum, or literacy instructional practices, we recommend this book to anchor the process. Inside is a step-by-step guide for educators, school leaders, or professional learning communities to evaluate high-quality instructional materials and standards-aligned literacy practices. It includes a wealth of tools such as timelines, full meeting agendas, stakeholder surveys, and evaluation rubrics.  

Who is this book for?

Curriculum Directors
Reading Specialists
Graduate Students Auditing Literacy Programs
Principals and School Administrators
Classroom Teachers
Special Education Teachers

Is the approach based on reading science?

Yes. This book is framed by relevant reading research and theory. Scarborough's Reading Rope (2001) provides the lense to view and evaluate high-quality materials and instruction. The focus of the text is on the cognitive processes that shape literacy acquisition. 

Why not just go to a website that reviews literacy curriculum?

The goal of this book is to help educators and leaders collaborate to understand why certain aspects of literacy must be taught, as well as how that instruction could occur. This book is not about adopting the next fashionable reading curriculum, but rather is about building administrator and teacher knowledge of literacy acquisition to inform a curriculum adoption. Selecting materials from a website with a list of "approved" programs does not empower teachers with knowledge or give ownership over the evaluation process. 

What if we want to change only one component of our current curriculum?

This book allows readers to evaluate any number of components in their literacy curriculum. For example, some districts realize they need a phonics program to supplement their existing Reading Workshop framework. Some districts are adopting a new writing program. The book was intentionally written to support either a full-scale review or a mini-evaluation of a specific component. Each chapter contains a three-phase rubric that is aligned to the construct (e.g. phonics) being evaluated. 

Meet the Author...

Colleen Pennell, Ph.D., is an assistant professor at Carroll University in Wisconsin. She is especially interested in furthering teacher knowledge around literacy curriculum and instruction. 

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If your school or district needs supporting auditing their literacy curriculum or selecting new materials, please reach out. We will be in touch shortly.

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