A study in the most recent issue of the Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk has found that kindergartners in a comprehensive phonics-based reading program called Superkids outperformed their counterparts in more-typical classrooms on standardized reading tests.
Once marketed by Addison-Wesley, the Superkids curriculum is now being distributed by the Rowland Reading Foundation of Middleton, Wis. According to the study, the curriculum is different from most phonics-based programs in that it teaches a wide range of language skills in tandem with reading.
In the study, two researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Geoffrey D. Borman and N. Maritza Dowling, found that pupils in the 23 Superkids classrooms they studied scored higher than 60 percent of their peers in demographically matched classrooms where teachers conducted business as usual. The teachers using the Superkids lessons also rated their curriculum more highly than did teachers using regular curricula.
A version of this article appeared in the December 09, 2009 edition of Education Week as Reading