Professional Development: Blog

The Science of Learning

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 […]

August 21, 2013
Schools Reduce Special Ed Referrals, Save Money, And Improve Test Scores With Fast ForWord And Reading Assistant Programs

8/21/13 Media Contact: Hallie SmithDirector of MarketingScientific Learning Corporation(619) [email protected] Investor Contact:Jane FreemanChief Financial OfficerScientific Learning Corporation(510) [email protected] Oakland, Calif. — Aug. 21, 2013 — Students with disabilities drop out at twice the rate of their peers, and 80 percent never learn to read proficiently. Even more alarming is the fact that only three percent of students who enter special education ever exit. To reduce special education referrals and get struggling learners back on track, schools across the country are turning to the Fast ForWord® and Reading Assistant™ online programs from Scientific Learning Corp. (OTCQB:SCIL). In Ware County Schools in Georgia and the Show Low Unified School District in Arizona, schools using the programs have significantly reduced the number of students referred to special education, while improving student performance on state tests. Fast ForWord is different from other reading interventions because it targets the root cause of learning issues, like weaknesses in phonemic awareness, memory, attention and processing. Students using the program can raise their reading skill level up to two years in as little as three months. The Reading Assistant program is the only online reading tool that “listens” to students as they read out loud, intervenes when they struggle, and automatically scores students’ oral reading. It provides individualized online reading coaching for every student, helping them to strengthen vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. Ware County Schools, Ga. Part of Ware County Schools, Waresboro Elementary began using the Fast ForWord program as part of its Response to Intervention (RTI) practices in 2009, and added the Reading Assistant program in 2011. From 2009-10 to 2012-13, Waresboro Elementary reduced the number of referrals for Tier 4 (special education) evaluations. “Thanks to our RTI practices and interventions like Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant, our special education referrals are now data-driven and more specific to the individual’s area of need,” said Waresboro Elementary Principal […]

September 2, 2010
79% of ELL Students Increase Proficiency by One or More Levels

During the 2008 – 2009 school year, a group of kindergarten through sixth-grade students used the Fast ForWord® products. All participants were English language learners. Participants used products from both the Fast ForWord Language and Fast ForWord Reading series. Kindergartners typically started with the Fast ForWord Language Basics product and then progressed through Fast ForWord Reading Prep and Fast ForWord Reading Level 1 while students in first grade and above started with the Fast ForWord Language product, and then progressed through Fast ForWord Language to Reading followed by the Reading product.  On average, students used the products for 54 days across a 3½ month period. The Arizona English Language Learner Assessment, abbreviated as AZELLA, is used to determine the English language proficiency of Arizona K-12 students whose primary home language is other than English. AZELLA results include a composite proficiency level score and separate subtest scores for Listening, Speaking, Reading, and Total Writing. Scores are reported in terms of scaled scores and proficiency levels. The five proficiency levels of the AZELLA are Pre-Emergent, Emergent, Basic, Intermediate, and Proficient. Students in this study were assessed on the AZELLA in the fall, prior to using Fast ForWord products, and again in the spring, after using the products. Seventy-nine percent of the students increased their proficiency by one or more levels. According to a study through the Arizona Department of Education, students typically have a difficult time moving beyond the Intermediate level, with 38% moving to Proficient after one year, and 46% moving to Proficient after two years.  After using the Fast ForWord products, 68% of the Intermediate students reached the Proficient level.  In fact, 22% of the students who were initially at Basic reached Proficient.

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