Feb 15, 2011 by 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:

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Over 45% Relative Improvement in Students Reaching Proficiency

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