Reading Framework Review
Framework Development and Updating


NAEP Reading Framework

The Governing Board recruited five experts in reading to review the 2017 NAEP Reading Framework and provide recommendations regarding revisions to reflect current research and knowledge in reading comprehension. These experts presented their recommendations in a panel discussion hosted by the Assessment Development Committee on March 2, 2018.

The Board also invited papers from experts who drafted the current NAEP Reading Framework and then worked with item development for the NAEP Reading Assessment, to gather additional insights based on this more in depth engagement with the assessment.

Papers from the 2018 Expert Panel Discussion: NAEP Assessment of Reading

Francie Alexander is the Chief Research Officer at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH).  She is an industry leader in the fields of Early Childhood Education, Literacy and Intensive Intervention for struggling students, particularly when it comes to reading and math. Francie provides inspirational and informative leadership on topics from early and adolescent learning to brain development and its influence on childhood and teenage learning. She works closely with key school districts across the U.S. to listen and learn in order to lead HMH’s efficacy efforts. Francie currently serves on the Board of Directors for Child 360. She has been a frequent guest on NBC’s TODAY Show, has written columns for The New York Post, was “The Book Nanny” for Los Angeles Family Magazine, and has authored more than 50 books for children.

Francie is a former member of the National Assessment Governing Board. Prior to her time at HMH, Francie held key positions in both state and federal education agencies, including serving as Deputy Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Education’s research branch. Francie has taught students from kindergarten to college. She holds a California Life Teaching Credential from UCLA, a Master of Arts degree in Education, and a California Administrative Credential from California Lutheran University.

Doretha Allen has been a teacher, coach, and meta-coach in Dallas Independent School District for nearly twenty years. Doretha serves on the Board of Directors for Catch Up & Read and is a National Board Certified Teacher in Literacy – Reading and Language Arts: Early to Middle Childhood. Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, she is at home in some of the city’s most challenging schools.

Doretha earned a Bachelor’s degree from Wiley College, Masters degrees from University of Minnesota and University of North Texas, and is a doctoral candidate at Texas A&M University – Commerce. Her career goals include creating a teachers collegiate academy in Dallas ISD and overseeing the Education Department at her beloved alma mater, Wiley College. For years, Doretha’s first love was education, however, now it is a close second behind her husband, Sheldon, and their two children, Davonna and David.

Nell Duke is a Professor in the Combined Program in Education and Psychology at the University of Michigan.  Nell’s areas of expertise include the development of informational reading and writing in young children, comprehension development and instruction in early schooling, and issues of equity in literacy education. She has taught preservice, inservice, and doctoral courses, speaks and consults widely, and is an active member of several literacy-related organizations. Nell was named one of the most influential education scholars in EdWeek and was awarded the P. David Pearson Scholarly Influence Award from the Literacy Research Association. She has also received research awards from the American Educational Research Association, the International Reading Association , and the National Council of Teachers of English, among other organizations.

Nell has authored numerous journal articles and book chapters. Her most recent book is Inside Information: Developing Powerful Readers and Writers of Informational Text through Project-based Instruction. She is also editor of The Research-Informed Classroom book series and co-editor of the Not This, But That book seriesNell serves as advisor for the Aspen Institute Urban Literacy Leadership Network, the NBC News Parent Toolkit, and the Public Broadcasting Service/Corporation for Public Broadcasting Ready to Learn initiative. Nell received her Bachelor’s degree from Swarthmore College and her Masters and Doctoral degrees from Harvard University.

James Hoffman is a Professor of Language and Literacy Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. He directs the undergraduate reading specialization program in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. In addition, he teaches graduate courses focused on literacy research. Jim is a former editor of The Reading Research Quarterly and The Yearbook of the National Reading Conference. He has served as President of the National Reading Conference and as a member of the Board of Directors of the International Reading Association. Jim was an affiliated scholar with both the National Reading Research Center (NRRC) and the Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement (CIERA). He was elected to the Reading Hall of Fame in 2002 and served as President of this organization from 2008-2010. Jim served as the chair for the International Reading Association's Commission and the “Prepared to Make a Difference” research project.

The primary focus for his research has been on teaching and teacher preparation. Jim has published over 150 articles, books and chapters on literacy related topics. He has been active in international literacy projects in Central America, Africa and Asia. He earned his doctoral degree from the University of Missouri at Kansas City.

Whitney Whealdon is the Director of Academic Content at the Louisiana Department of Education. In that role, she works with teacher leaders to create units, lessons, and tasks for the English Language Arts Guidebooks, a curriculum used in over 80% of districts in Louisiana and used in other states nationwide. She began work at the Department in 2008 as the English Language Arts Assessment Coordinator. 

Prior to her work at the Department, Whitney was a middle school English language arts teacher for six years. As a teacher, Whitney participated in the Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Program in October 2005, and was named the 2008 Louisiana Middle School Teacher of the Year. Whitney graduated from the Holmes Program at Louisiana State University.

Papers from Experts Involved in Developing the Current Framework

Peter Afflerbach is Professor of Education at the University of Maryland.  Peter’s research interests include reading assessment, reading comprehension, individual differences in reading, and the verbal reporting methodology.  He has taught K-6 reading, middle school remedial reading, and high school English (Grades 10-12).

Peter serves on the Reading Committee of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), and served on the NAEP Reading Framework Committee. He is current Chair of the Literacy Assessment Task Force of the International Literacy Association.  He has also served on National Academy of Education and National Academy of Science committees investigating reading assessment, reading achievement level descriptors, and the relationship of NAEP Reading Assessments to the Common Core State Standards (ELA).  Peter served on the Common Core State Standards Review and Feedback Panels, and he was elected to the Reading Hall of Fame in 2009. 

Peter is the author of Understanding and using reading assessment, K-12, 3rd Edition (2018).  He is the editor of the Handbook of Individual Differences in Reading: Reader, Text, and Context (2016), and co-editor of the Handbook of Reading Research, 4th Edition (2010) and 5th Edition (in press).  He has published in numerous theoretical and practical journals, including Reading Research Quarterly, Cognition and Instruction, Elementary School Journal, Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy, Language Arts, Theory into Practice, and The Reading Teacher.

Margaret McKeown is Clinical Professor Emerita, School of Education, and Senior Scientist, Learning Research and Development Center, University of Pittsburgh. Margaret’s work covers the areas of learning, instruction, and teacher professional development in reading comprehension and vocabulary. She received her Ph.D. in education from the University of Pittsburgh in 1983. Recognition of her work includes IRA’s Dissertation of the Year Award and a National Academy of Education Spencer Fellowship. She was inducted into the Reading Hall of Fame in 2008 and as a Fellow of AERA in 2010. Margaret has served as Vice-president for Division C of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and as the editor of the AERA’s research journal, AERJ. She is the co-developer, with Isabel Beck, of Questioning the Author and robust vocabulary instruction. Her research has focused on development of vocabulary and its effects on comprehension for students in kindergarten through middle school for both native English speakers and English Learners. Her publications include Bringing Words to Life: Robust Vocabulary Instruction (with Beck and Kucan) and Vocabulary assessment to support instruction: Building rich word-learning experiences (with Deane, Scott, Krovitz, and Lawless). Before her career in research, she taught reading and language arts in elementary school.