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Michigan Districts Choose Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant to Improve 3rd Grade Reading Achievement Scores

Neuroscience-based intervention programs from Scientific Learning Corp. help students make fast and enduring reading improvements


Media Contact: 
Hallie Smith
Director of Marketing
Scientific Learning Corporation
(619) 888-0887
[email protected]

Oakland, Calif. — Oct. 6, 2015 — Michigan lawmakers have identified third grade reading scores as a top concern for students. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, 69 percent of Michigan students are not proficient in reading by the beginning of fourth grade. To help students close those gaps, while building foundational reading, language and cognitive skills, several Michigan schools are implementing the Fast ForWord® and Reading Assistant™ programs from Scientific Learning Corp. (OTC:SCIL).

Closing gaps and improving school performance in Fremont Public Schools

After being labeled a “Focus” school by the state of Michigan in 2012, due to a large achievement gap between the top and bottom performing students, Fremont Middle School sought out programs to positively impact all of its students. The school chose Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant, implemented the programs with fidelity, and closed that achievement gap. It was designated a “Reward” school in 2014. 

“Our middle school earned the ‘Reward’ school designation because of the large improvements in reading and math by our Title 1 and special education students,” said Superintendent Ken Haggart. “Our students have come a long way and we give a lot of credit to the Scientific Learning programs for that.”

This fall, Fremont Public Schools will implement Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant in Pathfinder Elementary, Fremont Middle School, Fremont High School and Quest Alternative High School. “We are seeing a larger number of students enter kindergarten who are unprepared to read. On the other end of the spectrum, many students end up in the alternative high school because of a reading deficiency that has not been addressed. Our goals are to bring students up to grade level and give them the opportunity to achieve success,” said Haggart. “As we continue to implement these programs, we should see significant increases in our reading scores throughout the district.”

Supporting brain-based learning at Dudley STEM School

Similarly, after being named a “Priority” school in 2014, Dudley STEM School in Battle Creek, Mich., set out to make a number of changes. One of these changes was implementing research-based interventions, which help ensure students read at grade level. After evaluating several brain-based learning programs, the school chose Fast ForWord. This fall, Dudley will implement the neuroscience-based software with all of its students.   

“We reviewed several programs through the What Works Clearinghouse. After examining all of the evidence, data and brain-based research behind Fast ForWord, we feel confident this will be a good program for our students,” said Principal Ricky Jones. “What makes Fast ForWord different from other programs is that it uses the principles of neuroplasticity to address the underlying difficulties that keep struggling readers from making progress. The program will be a key component of our efforts to provide a truly balanced literacy experience and to help all of our students perform to their capacity.”

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