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Gold Standard Study Shows Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Journeys Common Core 2012 Reading Program Significantly Boosts Student Achievement in Kindergarten, First, and Second Grades

BOSTON -- Global education leader Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) today announced the results of a gold standard study highlighting the effectiveness of its popular Journeys Common Core 2012 reading program.  In the fall of 2011, PRES Associates, Inc., an independent research firm, conducted a two-year, randomized control trial (RCT) of Journeys in grades K-2.  An RCT, considered a gold standard study, is the only research design that meets the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) standards for demonstrating a program’s effectiveness.  First year results showed significant gains in word recognition, reading comprehension, spelling, and vocabulary.

“HMH remains committed to producing the highest-quality content for students around the world – content that functions to build skills necessary for success later in life,” said Linda K. Zecher, President and CEO, HMH.  “The results from this study reflect that commitment and prove to educators that they can count on HMH’s educational programs to truly impact and benefit student learning.”

The report is based on results from 1,046 students, 541 of whom were placed in a Journeys classroom, and 44 teachers, 23 of whom used Journeys in their classroom, across six schools from four geographically disperse locations: Arizona, Washington, D.C., Louisiana, and Rhode Island.  Journeys classrooms were compared with various control groups, implementing programs that varied by site.

Student performance was measured by administering a comprehensive skills assessment prior to the start of the study and again at the end of the school year.  Several increases in average test scores for Journeys classrooms were recorded, including significant gains in word recognition (15 percentiles), reading comprehension (8 percentiles), spelling (6 percent), and vocabulary (6 percentiles) as compared to control groups.  In all analyses performed, Journeys students out-performed students in the control groups.

“Considering the importance of building strong reading and writing skills, educators are left wondering which program will suit their students best and adequately prepare them for the Common Core,” said Miriam Resendez, Senior Researcher, PRES Associates, Inc.  “The results from this study really highlight the effectiveness of Journeys at the K-2 grade level.”

The research study is scheduled to expand to third grade classrooms for the 2012-2013 academic year. 

In addition to bringing reading, writing, and vocabulary to life for thousands of students, Journeys also employs leading technology, such as interactive whiteboard lessons, the HMH Readers app for leveled readers, tablet-ready student magazines, and online editions of all print components, making it not only highly effective, but also a highly versatile reading and literacy program for any classroom.

For more information on Journeys, please visit

About Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is a global learning company with the mission of changing lives by fostering passionate, curious learners. Among the world’s largest providers of pre-K–12 education solutions and one of its longest-established publishing houses, HMH combines cutting-edge research, editorial excellence and technological innovation to improve teaching and learning environments and solve complex literacy and education challenges. HMH’s interactive, results-driven education solutions are utilized by 60 million students in 120 countries, and its renowned and awarded novels, non-fiction, children's books and reference works are enjoyed by readers throughout the world. For more information, visit