The Wrightslaw Way

to Special Education Law and Advocacy

The Wrightslaw Way random header image

Finding Evidence Based Programs for Reading and Math

by Wrightslaw

As a special education teacher and tutor, I would like to know what are good reading programs up to high school level?

What about programs for math and writing through all the grades?

We recommend Orton-Gillingham based programs. These programs have over 60 years of research that supports their effectiveness and they work for everyone.

It’s hard to understand why schools resist using them.

Orton-Gillingham based programs include Wilson and Slingerland. Lindamood-Bell is also good.

Direct Instruction has a good track record. This website  contains information on Direct Instruction’s extensive and broad research base.

We have a topic page on Wrightslaw about Reading and Writing here:

Here’s a “one stop shopping” resource that will answer some of your questions about evidence based reading and math programs at different education levels.

Find out which educational programs have been successfully evaluated in valid research.

Not many math programs have solid research to support them.

If you go to the Best Evidence site, and click Reading and “Beginning,” you’ll see 3 programs that have “strong evidence of effectiveness.”

  • PALS
  • Reading Reels
  • Success for All

If you click Reading programs for Upper Elementary and Middle/High School, you’ll see no reading programs with strong evidence of effectiveness.


Good educational programs are the programs that have research that supports their use.

Print Friendly

Tags:   · · · 5 Comments

Leave a Reply

5 Comments on "Finding Evidence Based Programs for Reading and Math"


Can you name any evidence based reading comprehension practices or training programs that have published peer reviewed studies?


Rene, your district has the right to evaluate your son, and it may be in your best interest to allow it. Why? Because then you can disagree with their evaluations and request an IEE (independent educational evaluation). Seems either stupid or ignorant of the district to tell you they will only do IQ testing, especially if your child is already rec’ing compensatory services for a failure on their part previously. Who knows why they say stupid things, but the reality and proof is in the evals. Make sure you document every conversation you have with anyone from the school. They cannot refuse an IEP based only on an IQ test, they must test in all areas of suspected disability and I would include this phrase in any letters to the district regarding this subject.


After having our child in compensatory education for ayear and a half, we want it to continue, but now the school is saying we must submit our son to an IQ test. They refused to even look at the outside eval that shows he’s made three years progress in reading, writing, and math in eighteen months. Their attitude even implies that we are lying about progress. they say if we don’t submit to IQ testing they will refuse to do any other tests or offer an IEP. They insist on using Weschler’s which is unfair to children with autism. He WILL NOT score well on this test. They refuse any accommodations. What do we do? We just want his academic tutoring paid for and for it to continue so he can catch up to his peer group.