CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS), one of the best-performing urban districts in the country, continues to make gains in elementary reading achievement after five years of dedicated use of SRA/McGraw-Hill’s Open Court Reading and Direct Instruction reading programs.

*This year, 87% of elementary students passed the reading test.

*More than half of Grade 3 students earned the highest ranking on the test, the largest group of students to reach that goal.

*90% of Grade 5 students scored proficient or above.

In addition, the achievement gap between Caucasian and African-American students continues to decrease. Back in 2002, the gap was 29 percentage points. By 2005, it had declined to 20 points. The gap continues closed to 18 points this year.

This success follows a string of high achievements for the district, such as outperforming all other urban districts in the 2005 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Grade 4 reading test.

SRA’s Open Court Reading was implemented district-wide at the start of the 2001-2002 school year as part of the district’s five-year reform plan. In 2002-2003, CMS also added SRA’s Direct Instruction program Corrective Reading to help struggling readers.

District leaders have credited these research-based programs for helping them achieve great results.

To learn more about the history and continued progress with SRA reading programs at the district, read SRA’s Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Efficacy Report available at:

About Open Court Reading

Published by SRA/McGraw-Hill, Open Court Reading is a leading Pre-K6 language arts program. Developed from nearly 50 years of intense study and field-testing, Open Court Reading incorporates sound teaching practices from scientific research. In the schools and districts where the program has been implemented, not only have students’ reading test scores increased, but teachers and principals are seeing gains in student achievement overall, as well as an achievement gap that is starting to close.

About Direct Instruction

Direct Instruction is a scripted teaching method based on more than 30 years of research and pioneered by Siegfried “Zig” Engelmann in the 1960s. Now it is used in classrooms of all types throughout the world, with students ranging from those with learning difficulties to very bright students. Direct Instruction’s programs are based on two beliefs: All children can learn regardless of their learning histories, and all teachers can be successful when given effective materials and presentation techniques. These programs have been proven to work even when other programs fail. They provide a structured learning process that helps students learn “how to learn” while they build specific skills in reading, math, spelling, and language arts. Today, more than 1 million students in a third of the country’s schools use a Direct Instruction program. About SRA/McGraw-Hill

SRA/McGraw-Hill is the top provider of specialized research-based educational programs and professional development for the elementary market. Leading programs include Open Court Reading, Direct Instruction, and Real Math. SRA is part of McGraw-Hill Education, a leading global provider of instructional, assessment and reference solutions that empower professionals and students of all ages. McGraw-Hill Education is a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP). Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies is a leading global information services provider meeting worldwide needs in the financial services, education and business information markets through leading brands such as Standard & Poor’s, McGraw-Hill Education, BusinessWeek and J.D. Power and Associates. The Corporation has more than 290 offices in 38 countries. Sales in 2005 were $6.0 billion. Additional information is available at For more information on SRA/McGraw-Hill’s products, call 1-888-SRA-4543 or visit


About the Author:

eSchool News