Reading Plus

Meet Our Advisors and Contributors

Reading Plus has been designed and developed in partnership with leading experts in the field of reading assessment, reading comprehension, vocabulary, and motivation.


Dr. John Guthrie

Dr. John GuthrieDr. John Guthrie

EXPERTISE:  Cognitive and motivational aspects of reading and learning

BIO: Dr. Guthrie is professor emeritus in the Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology at the University of Maryland. He was director of the Maryland Literacy Research Center and co-director of the National Reading Research Center. He has published extensively on student engagement, motivation, and reading achievement.

CONTRIBUTIONS: Dr. Guthrie guided the design of the motivational inventory within the Reading Plus assessment. Conclusions drawn from decades of his research shaped the motivational framework used in Reading Plus. This framework creates an environment that supports authentic engagement in reading.

Dr. P. David Pearson

Dr. P. David PearsonDr. P. David Pearson

EXPERTISE: Assessment and educational measurement; reading development

BIO: Dr. Pearson is a faculty member and former Dean at the Graduate School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley. He is an award-winning researcher and prolific author, and currently is chairman of the International Reading Association’s Literacy Research Panel.

CONTRIBUTIONS: Dr. Pearson was involved in the development of the comprehension question rubric for the Reading Plus assessment and instructional texts and the formula that controls the mix of Core, Craft, and Critical comprehension activities on each of the program’s reading levels.

Dr. Ralph Radach

Dr. Ralph RadachDr. Ralph Radach

EXPERTISE: Visual perception, attention, and eye-movement control

BIO: Dr. Radach is a professor of psychology at the University of Wuppertal, Germany, and a former associate professor of cognitive and developmental psychology at Florida State University. He is a leading international expert in the use of eye-movement analyses to study information processing in reading.

CONTRIBUTIONS: Dr. Radach guided the design of the two training activities within the visual skills component of Reading Plus. In addition, Dr. Radach contributed to the design of the Guided Window, which models efficient silent reading to change the way students take in text.

Past Contributors

Dr. Elfrieda Hiebert

Dr. Elfrieda Hiebert

EXPERTISE: Fluency, vocabulary, and knowledge development through appropriate texts

BIO: Dr. Hiebert is president and CEO of TextProject, Inc. She is a fellow of the American Research Association and was awarded a William S. Gray Citation of Merit by the International Reading Association for outstanding contributions to the field of reading.

CONTRIBUTIONS: Dr. Hiebert contributed to the text complexity strategy for Reading Plus instructional selections and assessment passages, a strategy that focuses on the text features that best support reading development. The program’s vocabulary assessment and instructional pedagogy were informed by Dr. Hiebert’s published recommendations, and were developed with her input.

Dr. Timothy Rasinski

Dr. Timothy Rasinski

EXPERTISE: Reading fluency and word study; reading in the elementary and middle grades

BIO: Dr. Rasinski is a professor of literacy education at Kent State University. He has served on the Board of Directors of the International Reading Association and has been president of the College Reading Association. He has been published widely in scholarly journals and books, is a frequent lecturer on reading fluency issues, and has years of experience as a classroom teacher.

CONTRIBUTIONS: A renowned expert in reading fluency development and its relationship to comprehension, Dr. Rasinski served on the advisory board of Reading Plus for many years. In addition, he led a team that conducted research to examine the impact of Reading Plus on the reading comprehension and achievement of students in a large urban school district (Rasinski, Samuels, Hiebert, Petscher, & Feller, 2011).

Dr. D. Ray Reutzel

Dr. D. Ray Reutzel

EXPERTISE: Expertise: Literacy development in young children

BIO: Dr. Reutzel holds an endowed chair and is director of the Emma Eccles Jones Center for Early Childhood Education at Utah State University, where he is also a distinguished professor of Early Childhood Education. He served on the Board of Directors of the International Reading Association and he has years of experience as a teacher.

CONTRIBUTIONS: As a leading expert on effectively transitioning students from oral reading to silent reading using scaffolded silent reading practice, Dr. Reutzel led research designed to evaluate the efficacy of Reading Plus when the program is used by struggling elementary school readers (Reutzel, Petscher, & Spichtig, 2012).

Dr. Jay Samuels

Dr. Jay Samuels

EXPERTISE: Methods for improving word recognition, fluency, comprehension, and automaticity

BIO: Dr. Samuels is a professor and reading researcher at the University of Minnesota. He has been presented with several distinguished awards for his teaching and investigations regarding the reading process, including the prestigious William S. Gray Research Award and the National Reading Conference Oscar Causey Research Award.

CONTRIBUTIONS: Dr. Jay Samuels is a pioneer in research on reading fluency and the ability to simultaneously decode and comprehend text. He is a long-standing advocate for reading instruction that focuses on comprehension-based reading rate, rather than emphasizing reading rate in isolation. He served on the advisory board of Reading Plus for many years, has coauthored research examining the impact of Reading Plus on reading comprehension, and has written about what teachers need to know about eye movements and reading (Samuels, Rasinski, & Hiebert, 2011).