A preliminary review of the Following the Leaders (FTL) program, released Sept. 28, reports that 122 participating schools have demonstrated marked improvements in both reading and math scores--sometimes at more than twice the usual state averages. Mississippi reported a 39-percent decrease in the number of its schools rated as "low performing" since joining the program last year.

FTL Executive Director Faye Taylor, who spoke with eSchool News about the state of the project last month, said she was pleased with its progress.

"Teachers needed a way to identify students' needs on an individual


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