The choice of reading curriculum accounts for one quarter of the difference in achievement, concludes a study of 30,000 Florida students in first, second and third grade who were taught with six different curricula. Teach Effectively notes that Reading Mastery, SRA’s version of Direct Instruction, produced the best results.
In Journal of School Psychology, researcher Elizabeth Crowe wrote:
Overall, students in the Reading Mastery curriculum demonstrated generally greater overall ORF (oral reading fluency) growth than students in other curricula. Also, they more frequently met or exceeded benchmarks for adequate achievement in first, second, and third grade. In first grade, regardless of SES status, students generally met adequate achievement benchmarks. Among second graders, on average, only students using Reading Mastery and Success for All met benchmarks, while the lowest scores for students were among those using Houghton Mifflin. In third grade, on average, students did not reach the adequate achievement benchmark. However, Reading Mastery students came closest to the benchmarks because scores among these students were the highest across curricula.
Programs were equally effective (or ineffective) for disadvantaged and middle-class children.