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The authors examine the first grade materials in five new basal programs submitted for the 1993 Texas state adoption. These series are compared with program materials currently in use in the state (Copyright 1986/1987). The analysis focuses on features of the pupil texts(e.g., total number of words, number of unique words, readability levels, literary quality) and features of the teachers' editions (e.g., program design, organization, tone). Results of the analysis indicate substantial changes in the more recent series.The findings are interpreted in terms of historical trends as well as recent developments in the literature-based and whole language movements.Implications for future research are identified that relate to the study of the implementation and effects of these new programs.


Hoffman, J.V., McCarthey, S.J., Abbott, J. Christian, C., Corman, L., Curry, C., Dressman, M., Elliott, B., Matherne, D., & Stahle, D. (1994). So what's new in the “new” basals? JRB: A Journal of Literacy, 26(1), 47-73. (Also published as Reading Research Report 1993-#6, National Reading Research Center, Athens, GA: Universities of Georgia and Maryland).



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