Dec 27, 2011 by Melissa Agocs
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The Grand Forks Public Schools in Grand Forks, ND, wanted to evaluate the effects of the Fast ForWord® products on the academic achievement of their students. A study was designed such that students at one elementary school used the Fast ForWord products and comparable students at a different elementary school served as the comparison group. Both elementary schools fed into the same middle school and the study participants were in the fifth grade at the time of Fast ForWord use. Students used the 30-minute protocols, which call for students to use the Fast ForWord products for 30 minutes a day, five days per week for 12 to 16 weeks. Students used the products for an average of 132 days across 11 months. The Measures of Academic Progress, abbreviated as MAP, are state-aligned computerized adaptive tests, administered by the district each spring. They accurately reflect the instructional level of each student and measure growth over time. The Grand Forks Public School District uses the MAP to assess students in third through eighth grades. A comparison of the fifth graders at the two elementary schools showed that students at the school using FastForWord products made significantly greater improvements in all areas tested compared to the students at the school that did not use the products. The areas tested were reading, language, and math, with the study results demonstrating that the products can positively impact achievement across multiple subject areas.

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