Science Research Associates

Science Research Associates (SRA) is a Chicago-based publisher of educational materials and schoolroom reading comprehension products.[1]

Science Research Associates
Parent companyMcGraw-Hill Education
Country of originUnited States
Headquarters locationNew York City


Science Research Associates Inc. was founded in 1938[1] with a trade and occupational focus. In 1957, it moved into individualized classroom instruction with the iconic SRA Reading Laboratory Kit, a format that they translated to mathematics, science, and social studies[1] commonly called SRA cards.[2] The labs were large boxes filled with color-coded cardboard sheets, and each sheet included a reading exercise for students. Each student would work on it independently of the other students in the class, consulting with the teacher only if he got stuck. The student would then follow up with multiple choice questions. As the child moved ahead, the cards would advance in difficulty.

SRA was purchased by IBM in 1964.[3] Its primary and secondary school products had increased by that time, especially since math education was seen as critical during the Cold War and Space Race. SRA produced both IBM PC and Apple II software in the 1980s.[4] Maxwell Communications Corporation bought SRA in 1988, and it became part of Macmillan/McGraw-Hill in 1989. Maxwell Communications collapsed, and McGraw-Hill acquired full ownership of Macmillan/McGraw-Hill and SRA.

Educational programs

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 acquired Everyday Mathematics and 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.


  1. SRA
  2. Devine, Miranda (2010-06-05). "Lost generation finds new pride". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2011-05-20.
  3. "Highlights of IBM History". Archived from the original on December 6, 2007. Retrieved July 26, 2017.
  4. Advertisement (November 1983). "Cross Clues / Free Enterprise". PC Magazine. pp. 263, 265. Retrieved 22 October 2013.
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