Skip to main content
elementary teacher in lively conversation with students who have hands raised

Establishing an Effective Reading Program

In this webcast, literacy experts G. Reid LyonTimothy Shanahan, and Charlotte Parker talk about research-based reading instruction and discuss how schools and districts can choose the best reading programs.

On this page:

Program description

Schools around the country are faced with the challenge of changing their reading programs to fall into compliance with the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). This webcast focuses how schools and their districts can find the best research-based reading program to meet the needs of their student population.

Note: In December 2015, Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) (opens in a new window) to replace NCLB.

This webcast was produced by Reading Rockets in partnership with the National Association of State Directors of Special Education (NASDSE), the National Education Association (NEA), the International Reading Association (IRA), and the National Association of Bilingual Education (NABE). Funding for this teleconference was provided by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education.


G. Reid Lyon is the Executive Vice President for Research and Evaluation at Best Associates and Whitney International University

Timothy Shanahan is the Director of the University of Illinois at Chicago Center for Literacy

Charlotte Parker is the Principal of Burbank Elementary in the Houston Independent School District


Delia Pompa is the Vice President of the Center for Community Educational Excellence, at the National Council of La Raza.

Watch the webcast

Related resources

Discussion questions

  • Share something that you learned from the webcast that was new to you. Then, talk about ways you see yourself using that information within your school setting.
  • Describe the professional development opportunities you’ve had that have helped you learn more about the scientific findings about how children learn to read, why some children fail to learn to read, and what instructional methods have a scientific basis.
  • Discuss things your school does to screen students who might be at risk for reading failure. Then, describe the interventions in place for struggling students.
  • Reflect on your curriculum / spelling program. Does it encourage memorization or does it involve students’ learning about spelling patterns? Is the content presented in a logical order? In what ways does the program encourage application to reading and writing?
  • Explain some of the steps your school has taken to get parents involved in the reading program. Do you feel your students’ parents have an understanding of the reading process and why certain strategies are used within the building? Describe how you feel you could increase the parental involvement in the reading program.
  • How does your school or school district support new teachers? What systems are in place to help your newest colleagues?