Reading is not a set of Pre-K, K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd plus… grade level skills. Reading occurs on a continuum and classrooms must be built to assess and teach where each student is on that continuum. Based on this, Donna created the Reading Aptitude Continuum using ESGIs progress monitoring platform to help identify curriculum and resources that made a difference in a lower performing Midwestern school.

  • After implementation of ESGI and the Reading Aptitude Continuum, the district had 10.1% increase in meeting targets in English Language Arts
  • Middle school achievement rose from 2.6% to 13.1% meeting targets in English Language Arts
  • The District moved up 21 rankings in comparison to all Illinois schools on the same report

Dr. Gabrielle Schwemmer, Illinois Superintendent, conducted research on the work of Donna. According to Dr. Schwemmer, “through the implementation and data analysis of the Reading Aptitude Continuum created by Donna Whyte, the district is experiencing great achievement in literacy.  The PARCC scores have generously increased, due to the implementation of Daily 5 and focus on literacy.”

Using her continuum and ESGI, middle school achievement rose from “2.6% to 13.1% meeting targets in English Language Arts on PARCC and surpassed 68 schools according to’s rankings of Illinois schools, becoming the highest growth ranking of any middle school in the state. Download a copy of the whitepaper and view her Teaching Reading IS Rocket Science presentation.

Find Donna’s publications and activities at