Evaluating the K–12 Literacy Curriculum
A Step by Step Guide for Auditing Programs, Materials, and Instructional Approaches
As your school district undertakes the process of evaluating its K–12 reading program, literacy curriculum, or literacy instructional practices, this book will be your go-to resource. Pennell offers 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.
Chapters cover key topics, including:
- Literacy leadership team meetings
- Reviewing foundational skills
- Comprehension and vocabulary
- Evaluating writing
- Selecting new materials
- Implementing new literacy materials
- Supporting educators through instructional coaching and professional learning
Pennell provides a straightforward framework for how educators can work together collaboratively to analyze, reflect, and ultimately evaluate their school district’s literacy program. Each chapter is grounded in salient research on the why of literacy teaching and learning and helps you understand how instruction can be meaningfully aligned with current standards. The research and theory that support effective literacy instruction—including culturally responsive practices—are explained in an accessible and pragmatic manner.
The practical tools in this book are essential for administrators and educators tasked with evaluating literacy programs and practices, as well as graduate students who must learn how to audit a literacy curriculum. Whether you’re a school administrator, teacher, or reading specialist, this book will ensure all your students can reach success in literacy.
Table of Contents
Introduction. Chapter 1: Organizing Teams and Gathering the Data. Chapter 2: Literacy Leadership Team Meeting #1. Chapter 3: Evaluating Foundational Skills. Chapter 4: Evaluating Comprehension Grades K-3. Chapter 5: Evaluating Comprehension Grades 4-12. Chapter 6: Evaluating Vocabulary Grades K-12. Chapter 7: Evaluating Writing Grades K-12. Chapter 8: Evaluating Classroom Libraries and Independent Reading. Chapter 9: Literacy Leadership Meeting #2: Concluding the Evaluation and Making Recommendations. Chapter 10: Literacy Leadership Meeting #3: Evaluating New Literacy Program or Materials. Chapter 11: Pilot-Testing Recommendations. Chapter 12: Implementing a New Literacy Program: Professional Learning and Coaching. Appendix A: Pre-Evaluation Forms. Appendix B: Survey and Tools. Appendix C: Composite Score Sheet. Appendix D: Post Evaluation Forms.
Colleen Pennell is an assistant professor at Carroll University in Wisconsin. She was previously a K–12 reading specialist and elementary teacher in Wisconsin and the Southwest.
"Pennell offers a straightforward process—informed by research—that leads school districts or reading specialists through a literacy curriculum audit and review of instructional practices. This book is invaluable for leaders wanting to improve literacy achievement for all children."
--JoAnne Schudt Caldwell, Professor Emerita, Cardinal Stritch University, USA