Our Story

Today, Reading Plus meets the increasing need of providing educators with adaptive easy-to-use edtech tools, but our commitment to improving reading proficiency dates back to the 1930s. Reading Plus has transformed the educational experience for teachers and students for nearly 100 years.

Pioneering research and inventions

The foundation of Reading Plus was built on groundbreaking innovations that identified eye movement patterns and inefficiencies–from the Metronoscope, Opthalmograph, and VisaScope developed in the 1930s by Earl, James, and Carl Taylor to the Reading Eye tabletop eye-movement camera developed by Stanford “Stan” Taylor in 1956.

A gifted inventor and one of the nation’s leading pioneers in the development of reading technology, Stan continued to create an array of reading assessment and instructional tools through the 1980s. Stan’s revolutionary inventions, including the Guided Reader, Prism Reader, Tach-Mate Tachistoscope, and Reading Eye II (previously known as the Eye-Trac), were based on the understanding that reading is most effectively evaluated and addressed as a multisensory experience. The Visagraph 1 device, invented in 1985, was the first system to automatically measure both reading efficiency and proficiency through computer analysis. 

Stan’s extensive exploration of the role of eye movement in the development of silent reading fluency transformed the field of reading research and education–setting the stage for the introduction of Reading Plus in the mid-1990s.

The world of online learning

Following the rise of tech and the internet, Mark Taylor (Stan’s son) developed a web-based version of Reading Plus in early 2003. During the same year, Visagraph III, designed by Taylor Associates, became an integral diagnostic component of the Reading Plus program.

Ten years later, Reading Plus released version 4.0, a redesigned program, informed by years of previous research and leading-edge inventions and developed under the direction of leading reading researchers, including Dr. Alexandra Spichtig. Working with Reading Plus for over two decades, Dr. Spichtig led the evaluation of assessment and instructional strategies, exploring new approaches to building silent reading proficiency. Reading Plus 4.0 met the lofty goal of creating an assessment and instructional tool that not only improved a student’s reading capacity and fluency, but also their motivation for reading.

Reading Plus’s InSight assessment measures reading comprehension, vocabulary, comprehension-based silent reading rate, and motivation, and provides a composite reading proficiency grade-level score. InSight is strongly correlated with national and state reading assessments, allowing Reading Plus to serve not only as an instructional program, but also as a key component in a school’s or district’s literacy assessment.

Going beyond text on a screen

Today, the Reading Plus program provides comprehensive, adaptive literacy instruction and intervention validated by decades of efficacy research. The program improves comprehension, silent reading fluency, motivation, and reading stamina while supporting students on their path to becoming engaged global citizens.

Everyone deserves to see themselves and their communities in the materials they read. In 2020, Reading Plus announced the expansion of its content library to more than 2,500 engaging and diverse selections. The extensive literary offerings–which support instructional objectives in curriculum areas such as STEM, social science, and American civics–were carefully curated to maintain the highest standards of quality, integrity, and diversity. Added selections have a strong focus on the experiences of BIPOC and others who are traditionally underrepresented.

The Reading Plus program is a trusted platform used in more than 7,800 schools. It has helped over 1 million students become confident, lifelong readers. As the world around us continues evolving and educational best practices for literacy instruction change, Reading Plus remains grounded in the latest research and proven classroom success.