New York, NY – November 16, 2007 – The Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR) and The Learning Systems Institute at Florida State University have released the preliminary findings of the most rigorous randomized research study on effective reading intervention for underachieving high-school students. The results indicate that students placed in the READ 180 program outperformed their peers in other reading intervention programs and a control group. READ 180 is published by Scholastic Education, a division of Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company.
The Seminole County study is of particular importance because it acts as a precursor to the much-anticipated federal Striving Readers research on adolescent reading intervention that is expected to be released by the United States Department of Education in 2008. The FCRR study is similar in design and structure to the Striving Readers research and provides preliminary evidence supporting adolescent literacy intervention.
"Two-thirds of American 8th Graders are reading below grade level and, across America, school districts are searching for a solution to this problem," said Margery Mayer, President, Scholastic Education. "Florida is leading the way in finding that solution and the data from the FCRR study is overwhelming-READ 180 is a treatment that works. It is supported by teachers, principals and parents, and it has all the right components to drive even the hardest to reach struggling readers to succeed."
Administrators at Seminole County Public Schools collaborated with researchers at FCRR and The Learning Systems Institute at Florida State University to conduct this two-year, gold standard study to evaluate the effects of READ 180 and other reading interventions in high school. Students reading at Level 1 and 2, or below proficiency, on the FCAT in the ninth and tenth grade were selected to participate in the study. READ 180 Level 2 students achieved the highest gains: 35% higher than the control group; 79% higher than the other commercially available program in the study; and substantially higher than their expected yearly gains. Level 1 students were also successful, making larger than expected yearly gains on the FCAT.
"By the time kids reach 9th or 10th grade, if they are reading far below grade level, they rarely make any gains in reading and, often, they lose ground," said Lory Lyon, a teacher at Lake Mary High School, one of the schools participating in the study, who uses READ 180, "So, the fact that these kids are achieving more than one year of reading growth with READ 180 is amazing. They are gaining confidence in their work and in themselves, and that’s because of the program. I’ve seen it work, I know it works for all the right reasons, and I feel that, as an educator, I can grow with it."
The study also pointed to READ 180 driving the highest level of teacher retention during the 2005-2006 year. Retention rates among READ 180 teachers were 96% compared with 75% and 50% among teachers using the other intervention programs. While teacher retention is a major challenge for school districts nationwide, the FCRR research proves that teachers who witness the success of their students are more likely to stay in the profession.
About Scholastic READ 180
Scholastic READ 180®, a reading intervention program for older struggling readers, is based on scientifically proven principles, offering intensive intervention for students in grades 4 through 12 who are reading at least two years below proficient level. READ 180 offers intensive and individualized reading instruction for 90 minutes through data-driven technology, teacher-directed instruction in whole and small groups, and leveled reading materials that reflect students’ interests and age.
READ 180 is one of the most thoroughly researched and documented reading intervention programs available today. Currently in use in over 11,000 classrooms nationwide, READ 180 is the result of a collaborative effort between Vanderbilt University and the Orange County Public Schools in Florida. Response from numerous large-scale validation studies in Phoenix, AZ, Santa Rosa, FL, Los Angeles, CA, Des Moines, IA and elsewhere are unequivocal in their findings – implementation of READ 180 has resulted in solid gains in student reading scores. More information is available at www.scholastic.com/read180.
About Scholastic Education
Scholastic Education, a global leader in the education marketplace, provides learning solutions through research-based technology products and multimedia supplemental instructional materials that support student achievement in grades pre-K through high school and beyond. Scholastic Education’s technology-based programs include: the groundbreaking READ 180 program, one of the most thoroughly researched and documented reading intervention programs available today and in use in over 11,000 classrooms nationwide; ReadAbout:; Scholastic Zip Zoom English; Wiggleworks; FASTT Math and the Tom Snyder Productions suite of products; the Grolier Online reference portal; and BookFlix, an online suite of e-books for early readers in grades Pre-K to 3. Grounded in the most current scientific research, Scholastic Education programs deliver proven results in the areas of reading intervention, assessment, data management and professional development.
Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ: SCHL) is the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books and a leader in educational technology. Scholastic creates quality educational and entertaining materials and products for use in school and at home, including children’s books, magazines, technology-based products, teacher materials, television programming, film, videos and toys. The Company distributes its products and services through a variety of channels, including proprietary school-based book clubs, school-based book fairs, and school-based and direct-to-home continuity programs; retail stores, schools, libraries and television networks; and the Company’s Internet site, www.scholastic.com.
Sarah Trabucchi, Scholastic, 212.343.6424 / email@example.com