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Milwaukee Public Schools Experience Continued Improvements in Reading Levels After Implementing Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Reading Programs

MILWAUKEE — Global education leader Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) today announced continued improvements in year to year reading scores at Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS). A comparison of test scores from the annual Wisconsin Knowledge and Concepts Examination (WKCE) show that more than 59 percent of schools had increases in the number of students rated proficient in reading, with as many as 25 recording double−digit increases.

The overall WKCE results for MPS are particularly significant, given the high mobility of city students, a student poverty rate of more than 80% and the high number of special education students now concentrated in MPS.

As part of its first−ever, district−wide literacy initiative, the school district implemented a series of proven HMH programs into classrooms. Houghton Mifflin Pre−K was chosen for preschoolers, Journeys for grades K−5, and McDougal Littell Literature for grades 6−8.

HMH consultants worked cooperatively with MPS staff to ensure the implementation of purchased materials was carefully planned and executed within the framework of the MPS Comprehensive Literacy Plan. Over a three−week period last summer, more than 3,000 MPS teachers participated in a combined training of HMH K−8 Materials and the MPS Comprehensive Literacy Plan. In addition, HMH and MPS Literacy Coaches trained all MPS administrators on what to look for in exemplary classrooms using the Comprehensive Literacy Plan and HMH materials.

“These results are further testament to the effectiveness of MPS′ Comprehensive Literacy Plan and the district′s ongoing partnership with HMH” said Mike Lavelle, President of the Education Group at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. “The educators and administrators in Milwaukee have demonstrated their passion to help develop a love of reading in their students while recognizing the importance of a consistent, proven curriculum.”

The HMH curriculum replaced 17 unique legacy curricula, standardizing instruction for approximately 60,000 students in 130 different schools. In addition to the new curriculum and text books, the district generated more excitement for reading through monthly programs with children′s book icon Curious George, which students at a school could “earn” by writing letters of invitation to the fabled monkey, and rubber wristbands that proclaimed the “Learning to read and reading to learn” message.

Houghton Mifflin Pre−K is a research−based interactive curriculum aligned with key Pre−K learning goals that utilizes flexible materials and age−appropriate resources to equip pre−K students with the foundational skills they need to succeed as lifelong learners. To learn more about Houghton Mifflin Pre−K, visit

Journeys is the strongest core reader on the market and the program of choice among teachers nationwide. Because Journeys was developed in partnership with educators, its literacy approach addresses the needs of a wide range of students including English Language Learners (ELL) and other at−risk students. Journeys features Guided Reading resources – authored by Irene Fountas, an expert in the field of small−group instruction – as well as an innovative Adventure Unit magazine that enables intermediate−grade students to practice learned skills in a real−world context. For more information about Journeys, visit

Standards−based McDougal Littell Literature takes an interactive, innovative and flexible approach to literature instruction. Developed by a team of distinguished authors that includes Janet Allen, Robert Marzano and Carol Tomlinson, McDougal Littell Literature utilizes a host of integrated features to develop key skills:

To learn more about Houghton Mifflin Harcourt′s partnership with Milwaukee Public Schools, please visit

About Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is a global education and learning company that is leading the way with innovative solutions and approaches to the challenges facing education today. The world’s largest provider of educational products and solutions for pre-K–12 learning, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt develops and delivers interactive, results-driven learning solutions that advance teacher effectiveness and student achievement. Through curricula excellence and technology innovation, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt collaborates with school districts, administrators, teachers, parents and students. Today, HMH education products and services are used by 57 million students throughout all 50 U.S. states and 120 countries. With origins dating back to 1832, the Company also publishes an extensive line of reference works and award-winning literature for adults and young readers. For more information, visit