Professional Development: Blog

The Science of Learning

May 13, 2020
New Research Shows Accelerated Reading Growth in Boone County, KY

A “gold standard” research study was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the Fast ForWord program on improving language and literacy skills. In the 2018-2019 school year, eighty-eight students in grades 3-8 from two Boone County Schools in KY participated in a randomized controlled trial. Students who used Fast ForWord jumped from the 37th percentile to the 54th percentile and made gains of 8 months in just 7.5 weeks.

March 2, 2020
Madison County School System Sees Reading Gains in Elementary Schools, Expands Fast ForWord Program to Middle Schools

3/2/20 Contact: Richard S. Cheng Scientific Learning Corp. 888-816-0010 [email protected] OAKLAND, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--After implementing the Fast ForWord® program in 17 elementary schools and seeing average reading level gains of seven months in only 35 days of use, the Madison County School System (MCSS) in Alabama has expanded the program to its middle schools. Developed by Scientific Learning Corp. (OTC PINK:SCIL), the evidence-based Fast ForWord program targets the root causes of reading difficulty in the brain. Madison County Schools in Alabama is expanding its use of the #FastForWord #reading program after seeing reading level gains of 7 months in only 35 days of use. Tweet this MCSS, one of the largest school systems in Alabama, launched the Fast ForWord program in fall 2019 to provide a systemic, research-proven approach to reading intervention. The reading and language program also supports the district’s efforts to address the Alabama Literacy Act and ensure that all students are reading on grade level by the end of grade 3. “We weren’t simply looking for a reading intervention that works; we wanted to know what works best. All of our research and conversations with other schools led us to the Fast ForWord program,” said Tim Solley, assistant superintendent of instruction and academic accountability for MCSS. “The Fast ForWord program helps students develop the foundational cognitive skills that are essential to reading and learning. We felt that helping them with skills like memory, attention, and processing would be beneficial to their learning in any subject and have a greater impact on achievement. Our data so far has supported that belief.” In MCSS, the Fast ForWord program is used by selected students in grades K-8 for 30 minutes a day, five days a week. It is a two-in-one reading and brain training program that targets the skills that are core to reading. It is also the only reading program […]

January 15, 2020
2020 Education Trends

With the passing of another year—and decade—educators have exciting education trends to look forward to in 2020. Here are 5 trends in K-12 education research and policy to keep an eye on this year.

February 4, 2019
Georgia Districts Implement the Research-Based Fast ForWord Program to Personalize Learning and Close Achievement Gaps for Struggling Readers

2/4/19 Media Contact: Stephen GardnerSenior Vice President, Sales & MarketingScientific Learning Corporation(520) [email protected] Oakland, Calif. — Feb. 4, 2019 — The Georgia Department of Education has a shared goal that all children in Georgia will be on the path to reading proficiently by the end of third grade. To improve literacy outcomes with research-proven practices and a personalized approach to learning, many Georgia school districts are turning to the neuroscience-based Fast ForWord® program from Scientific Learning Corp. (OTC PINK:SCIL).  Recent districts to launch or expand their Fast ForWord implementations include Monroe, Pickens, Pierce, and Polk County Schools. Located in central Georgia between Atlanta and Macon, Monroe County Schools (MCS) began using the Fast ForWord program in fall 2015 to close achievement gaps in reading. Based on the positive results achieved, the district has expanded the program to all elementary and middle schools to help struggling readers, students receiving special education services, and English language learners. “In our first year, we used the Fast ForWord program after school with students who didn’t meet the criteria on standardized tests or weren’t doing well in their classes. From November to April, they achieved substantial growth, with gains of up to two-and-a-half years in reading,” said Jenny Rooks, director of instructional student support for MCS. “Then we started targeting the Fast ForWord program to other groups such as students receiving speech and language services, Tier 3 students who didn’t qualify for special education, and students in our Early Intervention Program. Their success has been tremendous,” said Jennifer Jorns, instructional student support coordinator for MCS. “One mother actually called in tears because her child, who was in fifth grade, made three years of growth in one school year. We have also prevented several Tier 3 students from being referred for special education evaluations because we’ve been able to intervene and remediate their language and reading skills.” Developed by […]

October 11, 2017
Too Many Kids with Dyslexia Are Left Behind: Here's Why

Finding our way through life’s tangles and snares can be tricky.  It’s easier said than done.  But with determination, skills, support and a sense of direction, it’s possible. In the hit Broadway play Hamilton, playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda tells his story about rising above adversity in a song titled, “I Wrote My Way Out.” “I wrote my way out When the world turned its back on me I was up against the wall I had no foundation No friends or family to catch my fall Running on empty With nothing left in me but doubt I picked up the pen And wrote my way out.” How can a person write their way out, if they aren’t able to read, write and spell fluently?  Identifying a problem is a necessary first step to finding a resolution. Knowing where to begin solving a problem can be more elusive. Writing our way out of adverse circumstances is one thing, but writing our way out of learning to read – that requires specialized instruction and support. Without proficient literacy, how do we expect kids to someday align with opportunities, and write their own future?  To answer these driving questions, let’s look at dyslexia in the context of our educational system. October is dyslexia awareness month. Language-based learning disabilities affect age-appropriate reading, spelling, and sometimes writing, too. Effective, research-based practices have been identified and promoted for years. Everything necessary to provide learners with dyslexia with an appropriate education is available now, and has been for decades. Even so, too many kids are being left behind. Dyslexia screening is a hot topic among advocates, especially in California where the CDE recently published new California Dyslexia Guidelines. The desire for screening tools isn’t new. Schools have had access to screening tools for years. Two examples: the Shaywitz DyslexiaScreen […]

September 26, 2017
To Prevent and Close Reading Gaps, Wichita Falls ISD Adds the Neuroscience-Based Fast ForWord Program to All Elementary Schools

North Texas’ largest district will implement the evidence-based intervention program to provide students with the foundational skills, intensive practice, and guided reading they need to read on grade level 9/26/17 Media Contact: Hallie SmithDirector of MarketingScientific Learning Corporation(619) [email protected] Oakland, Calif. — Sept. 26, 2017 — Research shows that struggling readers need 10 to 30 times more practice to catch up to their peers. To prepare students for reading success and provide the direct, intensive practice that struggling readers need, Wichita Falls Independent School District (ISD) will begin using the Fast ForWord® program from Scientific Learning Corp. (OTC PINK:SCIL) in all 16 elementary schools and one middle school this month. As part of the district’s focus on early learning, all kindergartners will participate in the Fast ForWord online language and reading intervention. It will also be used by struggling learners, students with disabilities, English language learners, and other students in grades 1-8. “Many children enter our schools with little or no early literacy experience, and they leave third grade still behind in their reading skills. Our goal is to close that gap early so all students enter third grade reading on grade level,” said Michael S. Kuhrt, superintendent of schools for Wichita Falls, which is the largest public school district of the 38 located in North Texas. Developed by neuroscientists, Fast ForWord uses a unique three-step approach to deliver fast gains to struggling students. First, it prepares the brain for reading by improving the foundational language and cognitive skills that are often weak in these students. Second, it provides personalized, intensive practice on a variety of language and reading skills — more than any other approach or intervention. Third, it uses speech verification technology to support and listen to students as they read aloud, like a guided reading coach. Once these areas are addressed, students’ language, reading, and all […]

November 7, 2016
Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant Online Reading Interventions Win THE Journal Readers’ Choice Awards

11/7/16 Media Contact: Hallie SmithDirector of MarketingScientific Learning Corporation(619) [email protected] Oakland, Calif. — Nov. 7, 2016 — Since Scientific Learning Corp. (OTC PINK:SCIL) was founded 20 years ago, a number of highly respected, independent educational organizations have reviewed its products and found them effective in raising literacy outcomes. Scientists, too, have put the Fast ForWord® and Reading Assistant™ programs to the test in carefully-designed studies, often published in peer review journals. This week, educators and staff who work in schools and districts once again praised the effectiveness of the online reading interventions by honoring each with an award in the annual THE Journal Readers’ Choice Awards. In the 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards, more than 1,000 tech-savvy readers of THE Journal named their favorite technologies in dozens of categories. The Fast ForWord program won the Gold Award in the “Best Intervention & Remediation Software” category, which recognizes products that help identify struggling students and bring them back on course. Indeed, more than 250 research studies prove that Fast ForWord can build the foundational language and cognitive skills that so many students with special needs, struggling readers and English language learners need to succeed. By using Fast ForWord, students can improve their language and reading skills by up to two grade levels in as little as three months, simultaneously boosting performance across all areas of study. Research also shows that these gains endure over time. Reading Assistant earned a Silver Award in the “Best Adaptive/Personalized Learning Tool” category, which honors products for delivering just the right learning experience to the student at the moment it’s needed. Reading Assistant is the only tool that uses speech recognition technology to support and correct learners as they read aloud, building reading fluency and comprehension with the help of a supportive listener. No other program or e-book provides comparable real-time guidance and feedback. “You can’t put a price tag […]

July 12, 2016
Arizona State Board of Education Chooses Scientific Learning to Provide K-6 Language Development and Literacy Intervention for English Learners

Schools participating in Arizona’s innovative pilot program will implement the neuroscience-based Build English Fast solution this fall to accelerate English language development for ELLs 7/12/16 Media Contact: Hallie SmithDirector of MarketingScientific Learning Corporation(619) [email protected] Oakland, Calif. — July 12, 2016 — The Arizona Department of Education (ADE) is continually seeking effective ways to support educators as they work to help English language learners (ELLs) develop academic English fluency. Toward that end, the ADE, in cooperation with the Arizona State Board of Education, has embarked on an innovative, two-year pilot program to bring a technology‑based language development and literacy intervention to ELLs in grades K-6. Following a competitive bidding and review process, the State Board of Education has chosen to partner with Scientific Learning Corp. (OTC PINK:SCIL) to implement the neuroscience-designed Build English Fast™ solution for this project to help ELLs accelerate their English language acquisition, and make fast and lasting gains in their language and reading skills. Approximately 70,000 of Arizona’s K-12 students are ELLs. On the 2015 AzMERIT statewide benchmark exam, only 2 percent of ELLs passed the language arts section, and 6 percent passed the math section of the exam. “The needs of ELLs in Arizona are always at the forefront,” said Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas. “Our goals with this pilot program are to help ELLs develop English language proficiency as quickly and efficiently as possible, in order to ensure our ELLs have the opportunity to excel in their educational careers.”  The pilot program will include approximately 4,000 students classified as ELLs in kindergarten through sixth grade in schools and districts across the state. Teacher training will begin in August and students will begin using the Build English Fast solution this fall. Build English Fast is a combination of Fast ForWord®, the top-ranked intervention for English language development on What Works Clearinghouse™, and Reading […]

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