Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Reading Program: Houghton Mifflin Reading©

Reading Program: Houghton Mifflin Reading©

Houghton Mifflin Reading©

Reading Program Effectiveness

No studies of Houghton Mifflin Reading© that fall within the scope of the Beginning
Reading review meet WWC evidence standards. The lack of studies meeting WWC
evidence standards means that, at this time, the WWC is unable to draw any 
conclusions based on research about the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of
Houghton Mifflin Reading©.

Program Description

The Houghton Mifflin Reading© system is a reading program for instruction in
grades K–6. It uses Big Books (authentic literature), anthologies, Read Alouds, 
and audio compact discs to provide step-by-step instruction in reading. According 
to the developer’s website, Houghton Mifflin Reading© was developed based on the 
findings of the National Reading Panel. The product is designed to be used as a 
full-year curriculum program with instruction on developing oral language and 
comprehension, phonemic awareness, decoding skills (phonics, analogy, context, 
and word recognition), fluency, reading comprehension, writing, spelling, and
grammar. Instruction is organized by a set of themes (10 for grades K–1 and 6 
for grades 2–6) with selected Big Books (fiction and non-fiction literature) and 
other classroom activities to highlight the theme. 

The WWC identified 9 studies of Houghton Mifflin Reading© that 
were published or released between 1985 and 2007.
Six studies are within the scope of the review and have an
eligible design, but do not meet WWC evidence standards.
Two studies do not establish that the comparison group was
comparable to the treatment group prior to the start of the intervention.

Four studies have confounding factors, such as combining with
other interventions, which makes it impossible to attribute the
observed effect solely to Houghton Mifflin Reading©.
One study is out of the scope of the review because
it has an ineligible study design that does not meet WWC
evidence standards, such as having no comparison group.
Two studies are out of the scope of the review, as defined
by the Beginning Reading protocol, because they do not
disaggregate the findings for the age or grade range specified
in the protocol.

1 The descriptive information for this program was obtained 
from a publicly-available source: the program’s website 
(, downloaded July 2008). The WWC requests
developers to review the program description sections for accuracy
from their perspective. Further verification of the accuracy of the 
descriptive information for this program is beyond the scope 
of this review.

Teachers, Parents, and Administrators:

Please Give your Input on Houghton Mifflin Reading©

WWC is an initiative of the U.S. Department of Education's

Institute of Education Sciences, the WWC:

Produces user-friendly practice guides for educators that address
instructional challenges with research-based recommendations for
schools and classrooms; Assesses the rigor of research evidence
on the effectiveness of interventions (programs, products, practices,
and policies), giving educators the tools to make informed decisions;

Develops and implements standards for reviewing and synthesizing
education research; and

Provides a public and easily accessible
to assist schools, school districts, and program
developers with designing and carrying out
rigorous evaluations.

All reports are reprinted from the
US Department of Education website
WWC for informational purposes.
Complete Reports Can Be Found

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