Dr. Ethna R. Reid, Ph.D.

October 19, 1927 – July 13, 2019

Dr. Ethna R. Reid, founder and director of the Exemplary Center for Reading Instruction (ECRI), former secondary and elementary teacher, elementary principal, general elementary supervisor, and a language arts supervisor in districts in Salt Lake City, Utah, directed ECRI and a Reading Clinic cooperatively sponsored by the University of Utah Division of Continuing Education, administrated Reid School, a private Salt Lake City.  She was an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Utah, a visiting professor at the University of California at Irvine, Santa Barbara, Davis, Santa Cruz, and Riverside for 16 years, and a Professor at the University of North Carolina.  She taught classes for the Brigham Young University, Utah State University and other universities throughout the United States and chaired or served on 90 master and doctoral studies committees.

Dr. Reid was a member of the Board of Directors of the International Reading Association (IRA) (now known as the International Literary Association [ILA]) as well as a former local and state president and state chairperson.  Dr. Reid served on the Utah Governor’s Task Force in Reading; was a consultant to the Scholastic Book Company.  She was an Associate of CPAL (Center for the Study of Pedagogy for African American Learners), and Editorial Advisory Board Member for the biweekly national newsletter “What Works in Teaching and Learning.”

ECRI was validated as a developer/demonstrator project in the National Diffusion Network’s Recognition Division of the U.S. Department of Education.  Dr. Reid was awarded the “Distinguished Professional Award” for her outstanding contributions toward the education of America’s children and to the National Diffusion Network professional community throughout the organization’s 19-year history.

ECRI played a primary role in the United States becoming a nation of readers.  The Regional Laboratory for Educational Improvement (sponsored by the U.S. Office of Education and Improvement) published Implementing the Recommendations of “Becoming a Nation of Readers.”  In a line-by-line comparison of 31 reading programs including ECRI, Dr. Reid’s program received the highest score of all 31 programs in meeting the specific recommendations of the National Commission on Reading.  ECRI is listed as one of three outstanding reading programs that demonstrate significant gains for Chapter I students.  This research, too, was supported by a grant from the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S.D.E.

ECRI, recognized by two distinguished research organizations in 1997, was found to “produce significant measurable improvements in skills deemed important for student success.” ECRI’s research and data were released in publications of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies and the Texas Center for Educational Research.  In 2001 ECRI was recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a School Reform Model for the nation, by the Education Commission of the States as an educational model, by AFT as a model reading/language arts program for regular, gifted, and remedial classes, and in 2007 by the National Advisory Panel of the National Education Association and the National Staff Development Council as a model reading program that works in elementary, middle and high schools.

Reading research conducted by Dr. Reid has been nationally disseminated.  Staff members have taught ECRI to teachers in 14 foreign countries, and Dr. Reid personally taught teachers in 50 states, in Panama, Mexico, Philippines, Ireland, Saipan, Canada, Japan, and the territories.  Dr. Reid co-authored a computer program called Keyboarding, Reading, Spelling (KRS), a second nationally validated project through the U.S. Department of Education.  She also incorporated into ECRI a third project, Enriching a Child’s Literacy Environment, which is a nationally validated program to teach parents and teachers how to teach young children.  Dr. Reid authored the Random House Reading Program and 22 teacher texts in teaching reading and language arts, and coauthored two other texts and three Informal Reading Inventories.

Dr. Reid is one of the “influencers” described in the New York Times Bestseller Influencer – The Power to Change Anything published by McGraw Hill, 2008; and Dr. Reid was identified by Dr. Robert Slavin as a model researcher, and ECRI as a model research project.