Curriculum Review

Oregon Reading First Center:
Review of Comprehensive Reading Programs

  The following report, the Review of Comprehensive Reading Programs, describes the work of the Oregon Curriculum Review Panel and the Oregon Reading First Center, who had responsibility for conducting a critical review of comprehensive curriculum programs in beginning reading for the first cohort of 34 schools participating in Oregon Reading First.
  The results of the Oregon Reading First Curriculum Review Panel's work are presented here. The report consists of a main body and 12 sections that are structured in the following way.
  The main body of the report describes the procedures used to review the nine comprehensive programs that met the criteria used in Oregon for inclusion as a comprehensive beginning reading program. The main body of the report also summarizes the primary results of the review and the reliability of the procedures used in conducting the review.
  Sections I-IX of the report contain review summaries for each of the nine programs. These sections are arranged in alphabetical order.
  Section X is a summary of all nine programs according to "essential components." Essential components in beginning reading - as defined in the Reading First legislation- are phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and reading comprehension. This section contains summaries in the areas of phonemic awareness, phonics, and fluency.
  Section XI is a summary of all nine programs by grade level. Grade levels are kindergarten, first, second, and third.
  Section XII contains the agreement and reliability data for the item-by-item ratings and summary scores for each program.

  Note that in March 2004, after substantial and persuasive input from several significant sources (publishers, authors, Oregon colleagues), coupled with our own considerations of the complexities and vagaries associated with the review of comprehensive core reading programs, the Oregon Reading First Center decided to issue a revised addition to the original Oregon Reading First Review of Comprehensive Programs.
  The amended or revised version that is posted here includes the following changes:
  1. Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension percentage scores have been removed from the high priority and discretionary items in the following tables:
      • Summary by program (appears before each program analysis in Sections I-IX)
      • Summary by essential components (Section X)
      • Summary by grade (Section XI)
      The percentage scores for the other big ideas (Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, and Fluency) are reported across tables)
  2. Within each program analysis (Sections I through IX), Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension percentage scores have been removed from the following sections:
      • High Priority and Discretionary Vocabulary and Comprehension Instruction
      • Summary of Grade Ratings of High Priority and Discretionary Items
      • Overall Assessment of Instructional Sufficiency by Critical Element and Grade
      This will not be done for the other big ideas; only for vocabulary and reading comprehension across grade levels, K-3.
  The rationale for the proposed changes is twofold:
  1. The number of high priority items for selected grades are restricted (e.g., 2), which makes the ratings problematic.
  2. The restricted item scale coupled with the lack of convergence in the National Reading Panel Report (2000) report on vocabulary and reading comprehension (i.e., they weren't able to conduct a meta-analysis because of limited studies) makes it very difficult to argue convincingly (and from an SBRR footing), that quantification using percentages scores that ostensibly results in a rank order of program design and quality is justified.

  What does this mean for determining quality of vocabulary and reading comprehension? This is not likely to affect the adoption of comprehensive, core reading programs for Oregon Reading First schools. However, for other states using the results, it will require schools and adoption committees to critically examine the items for each of these big ideas and determine quality based on a close scrutiny of the evaluation of an item-by-item basis.
  What does this mean for the current review of Supplemental and Intervention programs? It means that we will apply the same revision and decision rules to this review. That means, we will NOT report percentage scores for vocabulary and reading comprehension but follow the same procedures described previously in items #1 and #2 above.

  The purpose of the report IS:
     To provide a thorough and objective analysis of comprehensive programs in beginning reading for Oregon Reading First schools to use in their selection of a schoolwide reading program in Grades K-3.

  The purpose of the report IS NOT:
     An approved or recommended reading textbook or program adoption list for Oregon or any other state;
     An endorsement of any specific program;
     An all-inclusive list of comprehensive reading programs in K-3. Only those publishers who submitted materials for review, and only those programs that met the criteria used in Oregon to define a comprehensive beginning reading program, were reviewed.

Complete Report (Main body + Sections I-XIII)

Consumer's Guide Results for Individual Programs:

Program Name
Harcourt Trophies (2003) Harcourt
Houghton Mifflin's The Nation's Choice (2003) Houghton Mifflin
Macmillan/McGraw-Hill Reading (2003) Macmillan/McGraw-Hill
Open Court (2002) SRA
Reading Mastery Plus (2002) SRA/McGraw-Hill
Rigby Literacy (2000) Harcourt Rigby
Scott Foresman Reading (2004) Scott Foresman
Success for All (2002) Success for All Foundation
Wright Group Literacy Wright Group/McGraw-Hill