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School district in Georgia creates significant learning gains for Title 1 students

Achieve3000 has helped Title I students in 13 schools make significant and substantive gains in vocabulary, reading comprehension, and total reading skills.

After successfully implementing Achieve3000’s literacy solutions in 13 of the district’s lowest-performing Title I elementary, middle and high schools, Muscogee County School District (MCSD) in Columbus, Georgia, will expand its implementation to include 21 additional schools. Participating schools will receive Achieve3000’s 24/7 differentiated, blended instruction for students, teaching resources and blended professional development for educators, real-time data dashboard for administrators, and robust home support for parents and guardians.

“For the next three years, Achieve3000 and the MCSD will work together to accelerate learning and put more students on track for college and career success,” said David F. Lewis, Ed.D., superintendent of Education, Muscogee County School District. “Students who participated in our district’s Achieve3000 pilot program as recommended realized significant overall Lexile gains that allowed us to accelerate their literacy instruction. As a result, our district expanded the use of Acieve3000 to schools throughout our district this school year.”

Over the 2015-16 school year, students who worked with Achieve3000’s literacy solutions, KidBizPro® for grades 2-5, TeenBizPro® for grades 6-8, and EmpowerPro® for grades 9-12 (Pro) saw significant literacy gains. Schools where students completed at least 40 reading activities (on average once per week) with the Achieve3000 Pro Georgia Edition saw the greatest growth, outperforming schools that weren’t using Achieve3000 by an average of 74 Lexile® points. Schools where students completed less than 40 activities also saw improved literacy gains, more so than non-using schools, exceeding the latter by an average of 14 points.

In addition, a July 30 story in the area’s local newspaper, the “Ledge-Enquirer,” reported that MCSD outperformed the three other districts in Georgia’s second-tier cities on the 2015 and 2016 Georgia Milestones Assessment System. MCSD narrowed the gap between its test scores and the state averages on 12 tests this year:

  • third-grade English language arts, science, and social studies
  • fourth-grade science and social studies
  • fifth-grade English language arts, math, science, and social studies
  • seventh-grade science
  • eighth-grade social studies
  • high school biology

Except for fifth-grade math, those tests covered areas in which MCSD uses Pro solutions, which are designed for English language arts, science, and social studies classrooms with a mix of student abilities or diverse student populations. MCSD’s Pro Georgia Edition is further customized to support mastery of Georgia’s grade-level standards and give students regular and targeted practice for the Georgia Milestones assessments.

“We are very excited to partner with a district as dedicated to 21st-century learning and student success as Muscogee County School District,” said Saki Dodelson, CEO and founder of Achieve3000. “We share their commitment to improving literacy achievement for all learners. By meeting kids at their precise reading level at 12 levels in English and 7 in Spanish, our blended, differentiated instruction solutions help all students accelerate their reading growth and get on track for college and career success. It’s been proven that students who use our solutions regularly make double to triple the expected reading gains in a single school year. We’re looking forward to collaborating with the innovative educators at Muscogee County Schools to meet and exceed their literacy goals for every student in the years to come.”

The Muscogee County School District, which serves approximately 32,000 students, is located in Central Georgia Region. Under the leadership of Superintendent Dr. David Lewis, the district is in the middle of a five-year strategic plan to improve reading and literacy, numeracy, science and social studies skills while actively engaging students and teachers. The plan started in 2012, when the district began to develop a comprehensive academic model that prepares every student for the demands of the 21st-century work force.

An integral part of the district’s plan is Achieve3000’s Pro literacy solutions. By differentiating the same grade-appropriate content at 12 reading levels in English and seven in Spanish, and providing robust scaffolds for struggling students and English language learners, Pro extends teachers’ reach without increasing workloads or time demands. At the same time, Achieve3000’s proprietary adaptive content system continually monitors each student’s reading performance and automatically increases the level of text complexity when it detects that an individual is ready for more challenge, steadily moving students up level by level. In addition, because Achieve3000’s solutions are cloud-based, students can use their digital devices to access Pro anytime and anywhere – even without an Internet connection.

Pro offers a library of more than 10,000 nonfiction science and social studies lessons. Each lesson delivers students the grade-level disciplinary knowledge and academic vocabulary they need to succeed across the entire curriculum, tailored to each student’s precise reading level. Lessons give students unmatched access to content-area instruction by providing both a high-interest article on a contemporary topic and an academic background text to unlock understanding, all written at a student’s individual Lexile® reading level. Students then “stretch” their skills by reading a version of the same lesson written with grade-level text complexity, building the stamina and strength they need for the Georgia Milestones assessments. Plus, with new lessons added weekly, the program’s standards-aligned strategic curriculum gives educators both the content-area topics and literacy scaffolds needed to help students with reading strategy development, building the academic vocabulary, critical-thinking skills, and evidence-based writing abilities needed for college and career readiness.

“We have a long-standing track record of accelerating reading gains for all students,” said Dodelson. “This marks our 15th school year in meeting kids one-on-one, at their individual reading levels, and preparing them for college and career success. We’re thrilled that Muscogee County district leaders have expanded the use of Achieve3000 so we can continue to show the positive and dramatic impact our solutions have on student learning outcomes.”

Material from a press release was used in this report.

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