Professional Development: Blog

The Science of Learning

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 […]

April 16, 2015
Award-Winning School District Leaders Realize Student Gains with the Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant Programs

4/16/15 Media Contact: Hallie SmithDirector of MarketingScientific Learning Corporation(619) [email protected] Oakland, Calif. — April 16, 2015 — Three innovative superintendents — Clarke County (Ga.) School District Superintendent Philip D. Lanoue, Murray County Schools (Ga.) Superintendent Vickie Reed, and Boone County (Ky.) Schools Superintendent Randy Poe — have earned national and state recognition for their success in improving student learning and achievement in their districts. And while the types of challenges vary from district to district, two very important foundational approaches have made a measurable difference in the lives of children in all three districts: the Fast ForWord® and Reading Assistant™ programs from Scientific Learning Corp. This February, Lanoue was named the 2015 National Superintendent of the Year by AASA, The School Superintendents Association. Under Lanoue’s leadership, the Clarke County School District has been honored as a Title I Distinguished District for being Georgia’s top large district in closing the achievement gap. Student achievement has risen, especially in the critical transition years of fifth and eighth grades. The district has also received state recognition as a model technology school district and the state’s top award for exceptional Response to Intervention practices. In December, Lanoue was named the Georgia Superintendent of the Year by the Georgia School Superintendents Association and the Georgia School Boards Association. This February, Reed was named one of Education Week’s 2015 Leaders To Learn From for excellence in school district leadership. Reed is one of 16 district-level leaders who received this honor for tackling some of the most pressing challenges in K-12 education, and for ideas and strategies that are yielding strong results. In Murray County Schools, Reed has been able to drive higher student achievement year after year, even with significant budget cuts that shortened the school calendar from 180 days to 160. Since Reed took the helm, Murray County has made some of the biggest jumps in graduation rates in Georgia, increasing from 57 percent in 2007 to 80 percent […]

April 14, 2014
Murray County Schools Improves State Test Scores And Graduation Rate Using Fast ForWord And Reading Assistant Programs

Scientific Learning Corp. names Murray County the first National Leadership Center in Georgia in recognition of its exemplary implementation of the online reading programs 4/14/14 Media Contact: Hallie SmithDirector of MarketingScientific Learning Corporation(619) [email protected] Investor Contact:Jane FreemanChief Financial OfficerScientific Learning Corporation(510) [email protected] Oakland, Calif. — April 14, 2014 — Scientific Learning Corp. (OTCQB:SCIL) has named Murray County Schools a National Leadership Center due to strong student achievement gains after the use of the Fast ForWord® and Reading Assistant™ programs. The district is the first National Leadership Center in Georgia and one of only four across the United States. “We believe that all children can learn and that high expectations result in high achievement,” said Dr. Vickie Reed, superintendent of Murray County Schools. “In our own research, we see a strong correlation between students’ use of the Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant programs and improved performance on the Georgia Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) and End of Course Tests.” A high-poverty district, Murray County Schools began using the Fast ForWord online reading intervention in 2010 to help a group of high school students who were struggling in English language arts. Based on the students’ success, the district expanded the Fast ForWord program and implemented the Reading Assistant online reading tool in all 11 elementary, middle and high schools. “From 2011 to 2013, the percentage of our students in grades 3-8 meeting or exceeding state standards on the CRCT in reading rose from 94 percent to 98 percent,” said Allison G. Oxford, Ed.S., director of instructional support services for Murray County Schools. “In 2013, the cohort graduation rate for our two high schools was 90 percent, compared to 78 percent for the state of Georgia.” As a National Leadership Center, Murray County Schools will serve as an education demonstration showcase for other schools and districts seeking guidance on how to best use the Fast ForWord and […]

February 28, 2012
Clarke County School District's Five-year Longitudinal Study Shows Students Improve Test Scores After Using Fast ForWord Products

Students of diverse ability levels achieve gains in reading and language arts on Measures of Academic Progress after using Fast ForWord products at Bulloch County, Ga., school 2/28/12 Media Contact: Jessica LindlSenior Vice President of MarketingScientific Learning Corporation(510) [email protected] Investor Contact: Bob FellerChief Financial OfficerScientific Learning Corporation(510) [email protected] Oakland, Calif. — February 27, 2012 — Sixth graders at Langston Chapel Middle School who used the Fast ForWord® family of educational software products achieved substantial gains in reading and English language arts on the Northwest Evaluation Association’s Measures of Academic Progress (MAP), according to a study by Dr. Jody Woodrum, assistant superintendent of teaching and learning for grades K-5 in Bulloch County Schools in Georgia. Bulloch County Schools began using the Fast ForWord products, developed by Scientific Learning Corp. (NASDAQ:SCIL), with targeted students during the 2007-2008 school year. During the 2009-2010 school year, for the first time, Langston Chapel Middle School used the Fast ForWord software across an entire grade. All sixth graders — including general education, at-risk, gifted and talented, English language learner, and special education students — worked on the Fast ForWord products 40 minutes a day for at least one semester. According to Woodrum’s study, 77 percent of the sixth graders at Langston Chapel Middle School made English language arts gains on the MAP after using the Fast ForWord products. For the students who achieved gains, the gains were substantial, corresponding to the 99th percentile of the Growth National Percentile Rank (GNPR). The GNPR is a measure of improvement relative to “academic peers” — students in similar grades and at similar achievement levels. In addition, 64 percent of the students increased their percentile rank on the reading component of the MAP. For the students who made reading gains, the gains were also very large, corresponding to the 95th percentile for on or above grade […]

April 7, 2011
48% More Students Newly Proficient on GA CRCT After Fast ForWord Use

Every spring, the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests, abbreviated CRCT, are administered to students in Georgia.  The CRCT is designed to measure how well students acquire the skills and knowledge described in the Georgia Performance Standards. Students are tested in Reading, English Language Arts and Mathematics.  It is given every spring to all students in grades 1-8 and the students included in this study were first through eighth graders. Students who used the Fast ForWord products generally started with the Fast ForWord Language or Fast ForWord Literacy products. During the 2007 – 2008 school year, some students started on the Fast ForWord Reading products, progressing as far as the Fast ForWord Reading Level 3 product.  On average, students used the products for 60 – 70 days during a 6 month period. The first wave of Fast ForWord participants at Clarke County started using the products between the 2006 and 2007 tests and made statistically significant improvements on the spring 2007 CRCT with continued improvements in 2008.  Students in the second wave started using the products between the 2007 and 2008 tests and made statistically significant improvements on the spring 2008 CRCT.  The third group served as the comparison group and did not use the products until after the 2008 test. The students who used the Fast ForWord products made more improvements in their reading achievement, crossing the proficiency threshold, compared to the students who did not use the products. In fact, 40% of the participants who were not proficient in 2006 reached proficiency in 2007 compared to 27% of the non-proficient students who did not use products. In addition to longitudinal results, data were also analyzed for certain demographic groups, including students who were receiving Special Education services and students with Limited English Proficiency. Both groups achieved statistically significant improvements on the […]

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