Does anyone know anything about the different reading programs schools use? For example, Reading A-Z; Phontess and Panella guided reading; DIBELS; and others. I am interested how to compare different schools that use these different programs.Does anyone know how they compare and the pros and cons of each (assuming the school implements the program properly).

  • @Benjol Another alternative is to just delete your comments, and hope the other person notices and does the same. A half of a set of irrelevant comments is better than a full set ;) I'm certainly not going to get upset if you decide to flag (or ask another user to flag) as a way of handling the situation, but no one is going to get the deputy or marshal badges by doing so ;).
    – user420
    Commented Feb 14, 2012 at 13:42

1 Answer 1


I am not an elementary school teacher and I don't know all that much about teaching reading skills to elementary age children. However, I did find this link: here which is a report by the Milken Family Foundation which does educational and medical research apparently. An interesting point they make in their report is that there are four key points that have been identified as being a necessary part of the reading curriculum for reading proficiency by the end of first and second grade. They are:

  • phonological awareness
  • letter identification
  • vocabulary development
  • the ability to recall and retell sentences and stories (comprehension)

Glancing at the Reading A-Z website shows that their particular curriculum supports all these points. I can't find anything called Phontess and Panella, but I can find Fountess and Pinell Leveled Books. Their website is very wordy, but tells me next to nothing about what specific skills are focused on in their system. DIBELS (Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills) appears to be more of a measurement system used in conjunction with the school-selected reading program to measure the "Big Ideas" in early literacy (see list above) and ensure students are reaching their literacy milestones. The Milken Family Foundation study might be a good place to start. I didn't see any of the specific programs that you mentioned listed in the study, but it includes a lot of good information on other research that has been done on literacy and it assesses some other reading programs used in the United States. It at least seems like a good starting point.

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