Science Research Associates
|Parent company||McGraw-Hill Education|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Headquarters location||New York City|
Science Research Associates Inc. was founded in 1938. Early on, it had a trade and occupational focus. In 1957, it moved into individualized classroom instruction with the iconic SRA Reading Laboratory Kit, a format that later translated to mathematics, science, and social studies. Commonly called SRA cards, the labs were large boxes filled with color-coded cardboard sheets. Each sheet included a reading exercise for students. Each student would have an independent topic, and would work on it independently of the other students in the class, consulting with the teacher only if they got stuck. The student would then follow up with multiple choice questions. As the child moved ahead, he or she would advance in difficulty.
SRA was purchased by IBM in 1964, and by that time its products geared to primary and secondary schools had increased, especially at a time when math education was seen as critical during the Cold War and Space Race. Despite being an IBM subsidiary, SRA produced both IBM PC and Apple II software in the 1980s. Maxwell Communications Corporation bought SRA in 1988. SRA became part of Macmillan/McGraw-Hill when the joint venture with McGraw-Hill was created in 1989. When Maxwell Communications collapsed, McGraw-Hill acquired full ownership of Macmillan/McGraw-Hill and SRA.
Since the 1960s, SRA has been the publisher of Direct Instruction programs, also known as DISTAR (Direct Instruction System for Teaching Arithmetic and Reading). These include Language for Learning, Reading Mastery, Reasoning and Writing, Connecting Math Concepts and Corrective Reading. SRA purchased Open Court Reading in the 1990s.
In the early 2000s, the company was purchased by McGraw-Hill Education and the brand name and products are now part of the PreK-12 business of McGraw-Hill Education. The Imagine It! reading program was launched in 2007. McGraw-Hill Education also competes as a publisher of mathematics and science materials with programs such as Real Math, Number Worlds and Snapshots Video Science.
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