Stopping at an overlook : reading curricula, literacy coaching, and reading achievement in North Carolina's elementary schools

WCU Author/Contributor (non-WCU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Megan Melissa Keiser (Creator)
Western Carolina University (WCU )
Web Site:
Meagan Karvonen

Abstract: Adolescent reading achievement is of grave concern in America as a persistent literacy achievement gap harms the intellectual potential of many American school children. The selection and implementation of approaches to reading curricula and professional development are relevant factors examined in this quantitative study. Using an ex post facto method, this study identifies the different reading curricula and coach-based professional development models in North Carolina school districts and examines their alignment with current best practices for curricula and professional development. A researcher-created survey was distributed to the 115 North Carolina curriculum directors with a 35% (n = 40) response rate. A researcher-created classification system was designed and used to determine which districts fit into three main models of curricula: balanced literacy, core-based, and unknown. The responding (n = 11) literacy coach-based districts were classified as using either a responsive or unknown model. The study found that the balanced literacy curricula model was associated with greater proficiency rate in reading achievement relative to the state average across a three-year period. During the fifth grade year, districts using a balanced literacy approach experienced a three percentage point increase above the state average proficiency rate. A similar association of curricula on composite student achievement data for the sub group of "Economically Disadvantaged" students showed an increase of seven points as compared to the state's proficiency rate. Recommendations for practice include aligning reading curricula and literacy coaching with best practice research. The study recommends continued research examining the impact of curricula choices on student achievement with particular focus on districts implementing literacy coach-based practices. Further examination is needed to understand the intricacies of how reading curricula selection and implementation may differ depending on districts' reading philosophy and how curricula choices impact struggling readers and achievement.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2011
balanced literacy, core-based reading, literacy coaching, professional development, reading achievement, reading curricula
Reading (Elementary) -- North Carolina
Elementary school teachers -- In-service training -- North Carolina
Reading teachers -- In-service training -- North Carolina
Education, Elementary -- Curricula -- North Carolina

Email this document to