Test Scores Exceed State Average in 4 Subject Areas After Fast ForWord

Tuesday, February 15, 2011 (All day)
  • Andrew Ostarello

St. Mary Parish began using Fast ForWord products in the 2006-2007 school year with eight elementary schools.  Over the next few years they continually expanded until they had a full district implementation by 2009-2010.  Overall, Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant products were used by almost 6,000 St. Mary Parish students by 2010.

This study investigates the changes during that time to the district’s performance on the Louisiana Educational Assessment Program, or LEAP for short.  This test is given to 4 thand 8 thgrade students.  The following analyses consider four main subtests: English/Language Arts, Math, Social Studies, and Science.

After implementing Fast ForWord products, the St. Mary 4 thgrade passing rate for ELA converged upon, and then exceeded the state average.  After Fast ForWord was introduced, the percentage of the district’s students passing the LEAP Math test increased dramatically.  The 4 thgrade Science test exhibits the same trend as does the 4 thgrade Social Studies test.

The gap in passing rates between black and white students has also been reduced for both the elementary English and elementary Math LEAP tests.  There has also been a longitudinal increase in the percentage of 4 thgraders meeting the overall promotion standard since Fast ForWord products were introduced - from 65% in 2006 to 85% in 2010. 

Following Fast ForWord implementation, district LEAP performance approached and then exceeded the state average in all four subjects.  The performance gap between black and white students closed significantly.  And finally, the 4th grade promotion rates steadily increased.

For more information, please see the Educator Briefing on this study as well as any of our 200+ additional reports on Fast ForWord software results. If you have questions about any of our research studies, please contact us.

Related Reading:

Can Scientific Learning Products Improve School Test Scores?

Over 45% Relative Improvement in Students Reaching Proficiency

Dr. Donald Aguillard: Improving Louisiana Educational Assessment Program (LEAP) Scores in St. Mary Parish Schools


Results from a “Gold Standard Study” Show Significant Student Gains in Language and Literacy Skills

Wednesday, September 22, 2010 (All day)
  • Logan De Ley

A research study was conducted in Western Australia to evaluate the use of Fast ForWord productsfor improving language and literacy skills. This study was conducted by educators at four primary schools in a major metropolitan area of Western Australia. Clinicians with Sonic Hearing, a local private practice, supported the educators with training and expert assistance in Fast ForWord implementation. Across the four schools, 144 students participated in the study.

At the beginning and end of the study, the students’ language and literacy skills were assessed by school personnel, using a battery of tests from the Clinical Evaluation of Language Fundamentals and the Queensland University Inventory of Literacy.

The study was conducted using a randomized controlled trial design. Half of the students were randomly assigned to an intervention group, and only the students in this group used the Fast ForWord products during the study. The remaining students were assigned to a control group. Students in the control group did not use the Fast ForWord products until after the study. Research evaluators such as the What Works Clearinghouse consider this type of study to provide strong evidence about an intervention’s effectiveness. The randomized controlled trial design is also known as a “Gold Standard Study.”

The intervention group used the Fast ForWord products for an average of 9 weeks – typically working 50 minutes per day, 5 days per week. Most of the students used two Fast ForWord products, starting on Fast ForWord Language, or Fast ForWord Middle & High School, and then advancing to Fast ForWord Language to Reading.

Scores from the test battery were combined for statistical analysis. The results of this analysis showed that, on average, the students who used Fast ForWord made significantly greater language and literacy gains than the students who did not. These results suggest that using the Fast ForWord products strengthened the students’ foundational skills and better positioned them to benefit from the classroom curriculum.

For more information, please see the Educator Briefingon this study as well as any of our 200+ additional reports on Fast ForWord results. If you have questions about any of our research studies, please contact us.

Can Scientific Learning Programs Improve School Test Scores?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010 (All day)
  • Norene Wiesen

Improve Test Scores

When making a buying decision about educational software for a school or district, one of the most important questions to ask is whether the product is effective.  Administrators considering the Fast ForWord® and Reading Assistant™ programs want to know: Do they help students learn and succeed?  Do they improve school test scores?  Are they evidence-based?

The answer to all of these questions is yes.  Scientific Learning programs have been proven to improve language, reading, and cognitive skills as well as to improve school test scores on state assessments and other standardized tests for schools that follow the prescribed protocols.  Our Scientifically Based Research page is your starting point for exploring the 200+ studies that have evaluated the effectiveness of the programs and that serve as evidence of improved learning outcomes.

On average, students can see a 1-2 year improvement in reading level on school test scores in as little as 8-12 weeks.  English language learners, struggling readers, and special education students have all been positively impacted.  So have students performing at grade level and above.

Here are just a few examples:

Dallas Independent School District, TX (View PDF)

  • Four year longitudinal study
  • Fast ForWord participants significantly improved their reading achievement scores on the TAKS state assessment and maintained their improved reading skills
  • Average decrease in the achievement gap for the 544 Fast ForWord participants was 25%

St. Mary Parish Public School System, LA (View PDF)

  • After using Fast ForWord products, percent of Centerville, LA, 4th graders scoring proficient on state assessments exceeds state average
  • Marked improvement in 4th grade Math, Science, and Social Studies test scores, highlights the impact of Fast Forword products on improving cognitive and foundational skills

Bridges Academy, Winter Springs, FL (View PDF)

  • A private school serving students with learning disabilities with a goal of improving reading skills
  • Case study on 2nd through 10th graders to evaluate the effects of adding Reading Assistant software to their existing Fast ForWord implementation
  • Reading Assistant and Fast ForWord products are used concurrently and students are assessed before and after use
  • In an average of three months, the students at the school improve their grade equivalent test scores by an average of one year and three months on the Basic Skills Composite, which combines the Word Identification and Word Attack subtests

The benefits of Scientific Learning products go beyond improving state assessment scores.  Researchers have measured improvements in self-esteem, communication skills such as vocabulary and pronunciation, improvements in listening and understanding, and stronger memory for things like phone numbers and event sequences.  Review our scientifically based researchfor detailed information.

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