How to Evaluate a Reading Program |My essay solution

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How to Evaluate a Reading Program

Author(s): Sidney J. Rauch

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Source: The Reading Teacher , Dec., 1970, Vol. 24, No. 3 (Dec., 1970), pp. 244-250

Published by: International Literacy Association and Wiley

Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/20196483

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Sidney Rauch is a Professor of Reading and Education at Hofstra University, Hempstead, Long Island, New York.

How to evaluate a reading program SIDNEY J. RAUCH

the purpose of evaluation is to take a comprehensive, unbiased and cooperative look at the reading program and to decide what modifications or changes, if any, should be made to improve the program. Evaluation involves value judgments. It is not a care fully controlled research study. Recommendations for improvement of the program must consider not only what should be done, but what can be done. Hemphill (1969) places evaluation studies within the framework of decision making rather than research. The administrator, after taking all facts from the evaluation study into consideration, then must weigh their relationship to its effect upon the community, staff, and tax structure. Hemphill (1969) lists six characteristics of school evaluations:

1. The problem is almost completely determined by the situation in which the study is conducted. Many people may be involved in its definition and, because of its complexity, the problem initially is difficult to define.

2. Precise hypotheses usually cannot be generated; rather, the task becomes one of testing generalizations from a variety of research studies, some of which are basically contradictory. There are many gaps which, in the absence of verified knowl edge, must be filled by reliance on judgment and experience.

3. Value judgments are made explicit in the selection and the definition of the problem as well as in the development and implementation of the procedures of the study.

4. The study is unique to a situation and seldom can be replicated, even approximately.

5. The data to be collected are heavily influenced if not deter mined by feasibility. Choices, when possible, reflect value judg ments of decision makers or of those who set policy. There are often large differences between data for which the collection is feasible and data which are of most value to the decision mak ers.

6. Only superficial control of a multitude of variables important to interpretation of results is possible. Randomization to eliminate the systematic effects of these variables is extremely difficult or impractical to accomplish.

Four major steps are necessary in the evaluation of school 244

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rauch: How to evaluate a reading program 245

reading programs. These are clarification of the roles of the evalu ator, collection of data, analysis of data, and reporting of data. “A Checklist for the Evaluation of Reading Programs,” (Rauch, 1968) is used as an overall guide. The five major categories cov ered in this checklist are the reading program, the administrative and supervisory staff, the teaching staff, the pupils, and the parents.

CLARIFICATION OF THE ROLES OF THE EVALUATORS

Since value judgments are involved, it is recommended that the evaluation be conducted by a team of two to four reading specialists from different parts of the country so that the various backgrounds and points of view can be brought to the program. This type of representative team is preferable to the selection of a number of specialists from a single university or college whose philosophy or viewpoints may be too similar.

It is strongly recommended that the team meet with admin istrators and teacher representatives prior to the actual evaluation to explain the purposes and procedures, and to answer any ques tions. It is most important that the anxieties of teachers (partic ularly as to classroom observations) be allayed. The evaluation concentrates on the reading program; it is not an evaluation of individual teachers. No names or ratings of teachers are to appear in the final report. The purpose of the evaluation is a constructive one, i.e., to make recommendations for improvement. It is not a criticism of individual teachers, though strengths and weaknesses of reading techniques will be listed. If the evaluation is to be successful, it must have the confidence and cooperation of all concerned. Any team approaching the program with the intent to downgrade it or pick it apart is doomed to failure. Thus, the first and probably the most important step for the evaluation team is to gain the confidence and support of the teachers. This can only be done by clarifying all objectives and procedures before the evaluation actually begins.

COLLECTION OF DATA

Despite the various criticisms directed at standardized tests, test scores still remain an important part of reading evaluation. Robinson and Rauch (1965) describe the merits of standardized tests as follows:

Like other tools of teaching, standardized tests can be appraised in terms of both their form and their results. In their form?that is, their structure and operation?these tests have very important ad vantages: 1] their content is usually determined by careful design; 2] there are often parallel forms for comparison; 3] they permit

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246 THE READING TEACHER Volume 24, No. 3 December 1970

many children to be treated simultaneously; and 4] they are ob jective in administering and scoring. In many schools, standard ized tests are the first step in identifying those students who are below grade level and who are in need of further diagnosis. They are particularly useful in measuring the wide range of reading levels in a class, school or school system. They also provide stand ards for comparing students on a nationwide basis. Standardized tests make a valuable contribution to modern education by dem onstrating rather clearly that children differ. They provide stand ards for making improvements in school programs in the areas of curriculum, school and classroom organization, and methods and materials of instruction.

A summary of cautions to be exercised in the use of stand ardized tests has been listed by Harmer (1967):

1. Test users should keep in mind that the test score is simply the result of performance on a particular day, at a particular time, and in a particular testing environment.

2. The diagnosis of reading achievement through the use of stand ardized tests may be fallacious unless carelessness and atti tudes toward taking tests on the part of the students are controlled.

The Evaluation and Selection of Basal Readers

Author(s): Roger Farr, Michael A. Tulley and Deborah Powell

Source: The Elementary School Journal , Jan., 1987, Vol. 87, No. 3, Special Issue: The Basal Reader in American Reading Instruction (Jan., 1987), pp. 266-281

Published by: The University of Chicago Press

Stable URL: http://www.jstor.com/stable/1001176

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The Evaluation and

Selection of Basal Readers

Roger Farr Indiana University, Bloomington

Michael A. Tulley Indiana University, Kokomo

Deborah Powell University of Northern Colorado

The Elementary School journal Volume 87, Number 3 o 1987 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved. 001 3-5984/87/8703-0003$0 1.00

Abstract

Basal readers dominate reading instruction in most classrooms across the country. In fact, considering the central role of basal readers in the classroom, the selection of a basal reader represents the selection of a reading curricu- lum in most American schools. And, because textbook companies publish what school dis- tricts and states choose to buy, textbook selec- tion directly influences the quality of basal readers. Operating properly, textbook selec- tion should contribute to the improvement of reading instruction. However, major weak- nesses are evident in the process of basal reader selection by states and school districts: Deci- sions on basal reader selection are often based

on peripheral or insignificant criteria; members of selection committees frequently are handi- capped by lack of time, training, and direction; selection decisions often do not reflect philo- sophies about the teaching of reading; publish- ers and influential committee members often

wield disproportionate power to influence de- cisions; and, statewide selection, conducted in 22 states, yields few benefits to justify the ad- ditional investment of money and time. For basal reader selection to operate as it should, major changes are needed in assumptions regarding the adoption process, selection of reviewers, es- tablishment of criteria, and in procedures for evaluating materials.

This article describes what we know about

reading-textbook evaluation and selection and, based on this information, sets forth several recommendations for improving that process. We believe that an improved textbook adoption process-that is, one that is more reliable and valid-may lead to the selection of better basal readers and

ultimately to better reading instruction. There are two basic facts regarding

basal readers that relate to their evaluation

and selection. Perhaps the most important

SOLUTION

Evaluating a reading program involves assessing its effectiveness in improving students’ reading skills and achieving the program’s goals. Here are some steps to follow when evaluating a reading program:

  1. Determine the program’s goals: Review the program’s goals and objectives to understand what it is supposed to achieve. Identify the specific reading skills the program aims to improve and the target population of students.
  2. Collect data: Gather data to evaluate the program’s effectiveness. This can include standardized test scores, student work samples, teacher observations, and surveys or feedback from students and parents.
  3. Analyze data: Analyze the data collected to determine if the program is meeting its goals. Look for trends and patterns in the data that suggest improvement in students’ reading skills.
  4. Compare results: Compare the program’s results with those of other reading programs to assess its effectiveness relative to other options.
  5. Consider the program’s implementation: Evaluate how well the program is being implemented by teachers and school administrators. This can include reviewing lesson plans, observing classroom instruction, and interviewing teachers.

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