The federal What Works Clearinghouse posted research reviews last month of two beginning-reading programs: Houghton Mifflin’s Invitations to Literacy and a popular remedial program called Lindamood Phonemic Sequencing.
Of the two programs, the Lindamood program, a model developed by a pair of California educators to teach struggling readers and students in kindergarten through 3rd grade how to decode words and identify sounds and blended sounds in words, got the better rating. Clearinghouse reviewers rated it “potentially positive” for its effectiveness at teaching alphabetic skills. They based that rating on the strength of the one study that met the reviewers’ methodological standards.
The Invitations to Literacy program, an integrated reading and language arts program designed for students in kindergarten through 8th grade by the Boston-based Houghton Mifflin Co., got no effectiveness rating. Clearinghouse reviewers said they could not determine whether the program works, because none of the four studies they identified met their evidence standards.
A version of this article appeared in the January 07, 2009 edition of Education Week