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Corrective Reading 

Corrective Reading is a  direct instruction phonics program designed for older struggling readers. It is a scripted program that provides instruction in decoding, phonemic awareness, fluency, writing, vocabulary, and comprehension. It does not appear to include significant morphology instruction. I was unable to evaluate the scaffolding of the program, as it is not included in the company program descriptions. 


Previous Reviews: 

Evidence for ESSA reviewed 1 grade 3-5 study of Corrective Reading, with 206 students. They rated the research rigor as strong and found a mean effect size of .06. What Works Clearing House reviewed one study of Corrective Reading. They rated the research rigor as promising and found a mean effect size of .22.

Our Review:

I did a systematic search for Open Court studies on the company website, Education Source, and Scholars portal.. Many papers were so old that they were only available in physical form and not available in person. Most papers did not have control groups, or sufficient statistical data. I was able to find 5 papers that were available online, had control groups, and reported sufficient data. However, I then excluded two more papers. One was on adults, which I did not think was relevant to my audience and another had a sample size of 6, which I deemed insufficient to produce meaningful results. 


Study Summaries: 


Benner 2022: This study was quasi-experimental, and compared the efficacy of Corrective Reading with the Rewards program. The study outperformed by a statistically significant effect size. The sample included 213 grade 5-8 students considered at risk or learning disabled. I found a mean effect size for this study of .35. 


Benner 2005: This study was a quasi-experimental study. It was 34 hours long, and included a sample of 51 suspected learning disabled students in grades 3-8. I found a mean effect size for this study of 1.09. 


Loyd 1980: This study was an RCT study. It compared Corrective Reading to a Whole Language program. It included a sample of 23 Junior grade students. It only looked at comprehension outcomes. I found a mean effect size for this study of .60. 


I conducted a small non-peer reviewed meta-analysis of these studies to get the following results: 

These results were especially impressive when looked at in comparison to other intervention programs:

I thought it was very surprising that Corrective Reading and Reading Mastery had such different results, as both programs are made by the same company and on the same fundamental concepts. I almost wonder if the studies for each program really represent outlier data for the same type of program and if I should have combined my analysis for the two programs. This program is one of the only programs with strong research evidence, for older dyslexic students and I wonder if it might be a good recommendation for such demographics. 


Final Grade: A-

3 studies, with control groups showed a mean effect size above .40, not on standardized tests. 


Qualitative Grade: 8/10

The program included the following essential types of instruction: direct, phonics, phonemic awareness, spelling vocabulary, and comprehension. 


Disclaimer: Please note that this review is not peer reviewed content. These reviews are independently conducted. Pedagogy Non Grata, does not take profit from conducting any program review found on this website.  

Written by Nathaniel Hansford: teacher and lead writer for Pedagogy Non Grata

Last Edited by Elizabeth Reenstra and Pamela Aitchison on 2024/05/13



Benner, G. J., Michael, E., Ralston, N. C., & Lee, E. O. (2022). The impact of supplemental word recognition strategies on students with reading difficulties. International Journal of Instruction, 15(1) 837-856.

Benner, Gregory & Kinder, Diane & Beaudoin, Kathleen & Stein, Marcy. (2005). The Effects of the "Corrective Reading Decoding" Program on the Basic Reading Skills and Social Adjustment of Students with High-Incidence Disabilities. Journal of Direct Instruction.


Lloyd, J., Cullinan, D., Heins, E. D., & Epstein, M. H. (1980). Direct Instruction: Effects on Oral and Written Language Comprehension. Learning Disability Quarterly, 3(4), 70–76. 

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