Panel recommends six ground-breaking reading programs from Pearson to California's students

Only Publisher Recommended in Every Category Customizes Instruction for the State

Places Emphasis on Diverse Cultures, English Learners, and Reading in the Digital Age

SACRAMENTO, Aug. 14, 2008 - The Instructional Materials Advisory Panel (IMAP) of the California Department of Education has recommended to the Curriculum Commission a suite of six comprehensive kindergarten through middle school programs that the nation's leading education publisher Pearson has customized for California to address a range of critical reading issues confronting the state's schools.

Pearson is the only publisher whose materials are being recommended in all five curriculum categories.

Pearson's customized programs represent a continuum of curriculum aligned to California standards from kindergarten through high school.  The recommended submissions include an integrated array of instructional materials with embedded intervention and assessment, and digital media, all aligned to Reading First requirements and revised State standards.  The offerings are published in identical formats in Spanish and include professional development for teachers.

Pearson's Vice President for California, Vicky Bush, said, "California has identified a new course of action and we have responded by bringing all our expertise and resources to bear.  We have taken the challenge seriously by developing exceptional research-based programs tailored specifically for California and the unique needs of our K-12 students and teachers." She added, "We are the only publisher with such a unified and seamless approach to the learning and instruction of reading in California.  Pearson's offerings are actually stronger than the sum of our parts because all the programs easily and naturally connect with one another."

The publisher's research-based customizations for California meet new state requirements while addressing the realities of 21st century learning in the nation's most diverse state. Bush noted that Pearson's programs have been infused with new material and concepts specifically relevant for California, contributed by nationally renowned experts who are co-authors for the programs. Among these noted academics are:

  • Dr. Grant Wiggins, whose renowned leadership in curriculum design is revolutionizing learning.
  • Dr. Donald Leu, the leading expert in the "new literacies," and how educators must meet the iPod generation on their turf - including effective use of the Internet, techniques for reading online, and projects to bring students around the globe together to communicate and learn from each other.
  • Dr. Sharroky Hollie from California State University, the leading expert on urban literacy whose contribution includes a focus on embedding relevant materials into curriculum programs that recognize the cultural differences among California's diverse student population.
  • Dr. Jim Cummins, who leads the Pearson team in ensuring that English learners receive the same high quality education programs as their peers, provides his expertise in literacy development in multilingual school contexts, as well as on the potential roles of technology in promoting language and literacy development.
  • Dr. Connie Juel, professor of education at Stanford University, and expert in the powerful role vocabulary plays in reading comprehension, and in closing the achievement gap.
  • Jon Scieszka, the award-winning children's writer and recently-named Ambassador for Young People's Literature by the Library of Congress, has focused on the needs of boy readers, who as a group are in a crisis and falling behind girls in reading performance.

 "Our authors comprise a prestigious Who's-Who list of reading experts," said Bush. "They have been critical in establishing Pearson's reputation as the leader in reading, and indeed set us apart from our competitors." 

Bush said school districts throughout the state can now begin reviewing the recommended programs, which may be purchased once the State Board of Education formally adopts instructional materials in November. 

She emphasized, "We must all work together to improve student performance; this is critical to the futures of the children in our state, and our entire Pearson team is 100% committed to California's teachers, parents and students to make that happen."

The Instructional Materials Advisory Panel (IMAP) of the California Department of Education has recommended the following Pearson programs to the Curriculum Commission:


  1. Pearson Reading Street for California (grades K-6), a customized curriculum steeped in five years of research and development to create the Scott Foresman Reading Street program. The top-selling reading curriculum in the U.S last year, the program has been enhanced and customized for California, adding a visually-engaging and entertaining digital path and including California authors and literature.
  2. Pearson California Language Central (grades K-6), a component for intensive English-language development. Instruction is built from Grant Wiggins's Understanding by Design concepts. Instructional support for English learners of various proficiency levels includes: an explicit and efficient path to the Reading Street curriculum; frontloading of language and literacy skills; and connections of common unit and weekly concepts of Pearson Reading Street for California and Pearson calle de la lectura.
  3. Pearson Calle de la Lectura (grades K-3), a parallel Spanish version of Pearson Reading Street for California. A comprehensive, research-based program developed specifically to support the teaching and learning of California Spanish-Language Arts Content Standards, with differentiated instruction for struggling readers, grade level readers and advanced readers.
  4. Pearson Literature California Reading and Language (middle/high school) is a comprehensive literature program developed specifically for California and based on the most recent reading research. Organized around Big Questions and the Understanding by Design model of Grant Wiggins, the program also provides differentiated instruction for struggling readers, English learners, and advanced learners, making the program curriculum accessible to all students and ensuring that all students have the opportunity to master the State's English-Language Arts Content Standards.  A corresponding online program provides an unprecedented level of interactive digital content, providing a natural and motivating learning tool to empower today's tech-savvy secondary students.
  5. Pearson California Language Central (grades 6-8). Customized to meet California's rigorous standards, this program provides students with an additional one hour of instruction each day to help ensure that English learners acquire proficiency in English as quickly, efficiently and effectively as possible. Pearson California Language Central is directly aligned with Pearson Literature California Reading and Language and focuses on common units and lesson concepts and is consistent with its scope and sequence.
  6. Pearson Longman Keystone, a stand-alone, multi-level intervention program for struggling readers and English learners whose academic achievement is two or more years below grade level, blends rigorous, research-based reading and language skills instruction together with a balance of content-area readings and age-appropriate, high-interest literature. The program incorporates the instructional principles of Understanding by Design, with the goal of equipping students with the key transferable academic skills necessary to transition successfully into mainstream basal programs.

Pearson's programs are complemented by SuccessMaker Enterprise, digital courseware providing a diagnostic and individualized 21st Century approach toward learning to meet the needs of different learning styles - including students who are gifted, at-risk, or English language learners and those served by special education. With a proven record of improving student success for California students, SuccessMaker Enterprise addresses the full range of learner abilities through standards-based, targeted curriculum.

About Pearson in California

Pearson, the world's leading education publisher, has been providing education materials to California schools as far back as the 1800s. You may know us individually as Scott Foresman, Prentice Hall, Longman, SuccessMaker, NovaNet, Educational Measurement, Educational Assessment, Learning Teams, Achievement Solutions, and so many more - names in the world of education that are recognized and respected across the State and the globe. In fact, most teachers in California have learned their profession by studying with Pearson's Merrill or Allyn & Bacon textbooks, and many have benefited from our professional development programs. Today, nearly a thousand Pearson people are living and working in the State, providing educational materials that cover the gamut from birth through professional learning. Whether in science, math, social studies, music, middle/high school language arts, English as a second language, foreign languages, or AP courses, hundreds of thousands of California's preK-12 students are learning with our Pearson products every day.  In addition to Education, Pearson's other major businesses include The Financial Times Group and The Penguin Group. For more information, go to: www.californiareading.com or www.pearsonschool.com.

Media Contacts:

kate.miller@pearson.com - 1.800.745.8489
stevan@allenstrategic.com - 1.916.448.1336