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STUDENTS IN KY HIGH SCHOOL IMPROVE ACT SCORES AFTER USING READING ASSISTANT FROM SCIENTIFIC LEARNING

By Leslie Eicher
November 15th, 2013

According to a 2012 report by ACT®, far too many students graduate from high school ill-prepared for the academic rigors of college. Indeed, in 2012, only 52 percent of all ACT-tested high school graduates met the College Readiness Benchmark in Reading. To help close the gap between college eligibility and college readiness, Conner High School in Hebron, Ky. has created an innovative Reading for College Success course for struggling readers, which incorporates the Reading Assistant™ program from Scientific Learning Corp. (OTCQB:SCIL). After using the online reading tool for an average of four months, 89 percent of students achieved significant increases in their ACT Reading scores and 33 percent tested out of the intervention by reaching the ACT benchmark score.

“Our school has a shared vision where all students will graduate college- and career-ready, and
experience success after high school,” said Andrew Wyckoff, a teacher at Conner High School.
“Each day, we strive to make that vision a reality and Reading Assistant is helping us achieve that vision,” said Vicki Berberich, a curriculum coach at Conner High School

Part of the Boone County School District, Conner High School uses the ACT Educational Planning and Assessment System tests, including the EXPLORE® in eighth grade, PLAN® in 10th grade, and ACT in 11th grade. Conner High students who fall below criterion in Reading on the EXPLORE or the PLAN are placed on Reading Assistant and periodically re-tested with practice versions of the ACT. Reading Assistant is the only online reading tool that uses speech recognition to correct and support students as they read aloud, building fluency and comprehension with the help of a supportive listener. No other program or e-book provides comparable real-time guidance and feedback.

As part of a study conducted during the 2012-13 school year, students used Reading Assistant, on average, for 37 days over a period of four months. At the beginning of the study, the students’ average ACT Reading score was 12.3. After using Reading Assistant, the average score on the students’ best-effort tests improved to 18.3. Reading scores improved for 89 percent of students, and 33 percent of students met or exceeded the ACT benchmark score of 21 points. The benchmark score is the minimum score needed on the ACT subject area test to indicate a 50 percent chance of obtaining a B or higher, or about a 75 percent chance of obtaining a C or higher in corresponding credit-bearing first-year college courses.

“Reading Assistant provides each student with individualized instruction,” said Mary Sargent, assistant principal of Conner High School. “In a class of 20 students, there is no way a teacher would be able to provide that level of one-on-one support. Reading Assistant helps students with immediate feedback on errors and private playback of their reading. Our students who have used Reading Assistant are now more confident readers and more proactive in their studies.”

About Scientific Learning Corp.
We accelerate learning by applying proven research on how the brain learns. Scientific Learning’s results are demonstrated in over 270 research studies and protected by over 55 patents. Learners can realize achievement gains of up to two years in as little as three months and maintain an accelerated rate of learning even after the programs end.

Today, more than 2.2 million learners have used Scientific Learning software products. We provide our offerings directly to parents, K–12 schools and learning centers, and in more than 45 countries around the world. For more information, visit www.scientificlearning.com or call toll-free 888-810-0250.

About the Author:

Leslie Eicher