University of Minnesota
Driven to Discover



The University of Minnesota Center for Reading Research conducts applied research on reading and research on teaching approaches that facilitate reading instruction.

The focus is on conducting research that supports teachers, particularly those who teach students of poverty and students from diverse backgrounds. The Center addresses problems and issues in reading that require creative and powerful research efforts. Learn more about our mission.

Cory Stai's presentation at LiRN

On February 19, 2015, Cory Stai of the Minnesota Department of Education presented the keynote to the Leaders in Reading Network. The topic was Fostering Literate Thinking: Demystifying Text Complexity. See the presentation here (PDF).

Dr. Alfred Tatum's presentation from CEHD Policy Breakfast

On January 20, 2015, Dr. Alfred Tatum, Dean of the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, delivered the keynote address at the January 2015 CEHD Policy Breakfast, Framing Responsive Literacy Instruction in the National Policy Context. Dr. Tatum's presentation focused on advancing the reading, writing, and intellectual development of African American boys in ways that move beyond some of the limitations of policy authorizations. See Dr. Tatum's presentation here (PDF). See video clips from the Policy Breakfast here.

Leaders in Reading Network (LiRN) Presentation October 30, 2014

The Important Things: Creating Classrooms Where Thinking is Valued, presented by Nicki Clausen-Grace at the Leaders in Reading Network (LiRN) meeting, October 30, 2014. Download PDF.


Upcoming Events

PRESS Forward! A research-based framework for literacy achievement

February 26-27, 2015
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

We're sorry, this workshop is full. To be placed on the wait list, please contact Shona Burke at

The Path to Reading Excellence in School Sites (PRESS) is a multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) framework for literacy in grades K-5. Stemming from three years of research, PRESS encompasses four key components: 1) quality core instructionPRESS February workshop, 2) tiered interventions, 3) embedded and ongoing professional development, and 4) data-based decision making. Read more about the four pillars of PRESS here. PRESS provides professional development and consultation to school districts across the nation as well as manuals for data-based decision making, intervention, and assessment.
Join us for an in-depth training on the PRESS framework with specific ideas for implementation within your schools.

The workshops are intended for teams of 3-4 elementary school or district staff (administrators, grade-level team leaders, literacy coaches/coordinators, and reading interventionists). Teams may register for either Day 1 alone, or Days 1 and 2 together. Each participant will receive a PRESS Intervention Manual and CEUs. More information here.

Data-Based Instructional Planning: Moving from Tier 2 to Tier 3 Support

PRESS March 2, 2015 workshop flyerPresented by Dr. Jennifer McComas
University of Minnesota, Dept. of Educational Psychology

In multi-tiered systems of support, supplemental instructional support is provided for students who are not experiencing academic success with high quality core instruction alone. Individual student progress is monitored at least bi-weekly and adjustments are made to the Tier 2 intervention as indicated by the data. Occasionally, the data suggest that the Tier 2 instructional support is insufficient for meeting a student’s needs. In such cases, a brief academic analysis is warranted to identify an individualized instructional strategy to effectively meet the student’s unique academic needs.

March 2, 2015
2:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

This workshop is designed for school staff who are responsible for academic instruction or supporting academic instruction, including data-based decision making, and is intended for staff who routinely utilize Tier 2 interventions, progress monitoring data, and data-based instructional planning. Participants will review appropriate allocation of Tier 2 resources and processes for data review and problem solving within Tier 2, learn about the process involved in the brief academic analysis, and use case examples to practice data-based instructional planning, problem solving, analysis, and intervention selection at Tier 3.

Attendees should have completed a PRESS Tier 2 workshop or be working in a school where Tier 2 interventions and data-based instructional decisions are routine practice. Registration is $100 per person. More information & registration here.

News & Highlights

MCRR Quarterly Reader | September 2014

Check out the new MCRR Quarterly Reader, with a Research Brief on Full-Day Kindergarten in Minnesota and updates on what's going on at MCRR.

MCRR Summer Literacy Workshop 2014 | Mind the Gap: Bringing Research to Practice

This conference took place on Monday, August 4, 2014. Click here for some of the presentations and click here for more information about the conference.

MCRR Policy Brief: Making Sense of Dyslexia

Making Sense of Dyslexia | MCRR Policy BriefThe Minnesota Center for Reading Research has released a new Research to Policy Brief: Making Sense of Dyslexia (PDF).

The American Psychiatric Association (2000) defined dyslexia as reading achievement that:

  • is significantly below expected levels based on an individual’s age and education,
  • interferes with every day activities that involve reading, and
  • is low because of reasons other than sensory disorders such as visual impairments.

The term “dyslexia” is a medical term. Schools do not use the term “dyslexia.” Instead, special education laws use the term Specific Learning Disability (SLD). Experts do not agree on how to best identify SLD. Most school districts have historically relied on identifying a discrepancy between intelligence (IQ) and achievement (reading), but many are attempting alternative approaches...Click here to continue reading MCRR’s Research to Policy Brief: Making Sense of Dyslexia (PDF)

Online Course: Literacy Instruction in the Elementary Grades

MCRR will offer this 4-credit online course throughout 2013-14. Registration is now open!
New sessions will be starting each month throughout the academic year.

This course has been approved by the Minnesota Department of Education as a Reading Methods Program for applicants who completed out-of-state licensure programs. If your initial Minnesota Teaching Licence has a renewal condition stating that you must complete one or more "reading courses," this course would qualify toward that requirement. For more information, visit MDE: Licensing.

Professional Development

MCRR can help with your professional development needs

MCRR is available to help school leaders and teachers in grades K-6 learn how to use scientifically-based reading instruction to improve reading achievement. We can tailor sessions to the specific needs of your school. For more information contact us at 612-624-4561 or

2013 Achievement Gap Conference: Moving Forward Together

This conference took place on Friday, September 20, 2013. Click here for some of the presentations and for more information about the conference.

Continue reading recent news.

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Last modified on July 14, 2011.