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Students in Starkville Oktibbeha School District Improve Reading Skills by 1.9 Years After Using Fast ForWord for 85 Days

Scientific Learning Corp. names the Mississippi district a National Reference Site for its successful use of the Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant programs with struggling students 


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

Oakland, Calif. — Jan. 12, 2016 — Scientific Learning Corp. (OTC PINK:SCIL) has named the Starkville Oktibbeha Consolidated School District(SOCSD) a National Reference Site due to strong student gains achieved after the use of Fast ForWord® and Reading Assistant™ programs. The Mississippi district joins a distinguished group of 20 National Reference Site schools and districts in the United States and Canada that exemplify the outstanding use of the neuroscience-based solutions.

In SOCSD, the Fast ForWord program is targeted primarily to K-10 students who score in the lowest quartile on the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP). During the 2014-15 school year, 703 students in grades K-10 completed at least one Fast ForWord product and took a Reading Progress Indicator (RPI) pre- and post-assessment.

“These students showed an average grade-equivalent reading level gain of 1 year and 9 months in just 85 days of use — which is less than a semester,” said Jody Woodrum, Ed.D., assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction. “Students doubled their reading scores, increasing from the 21st to the 42nd percentile. We also cut the percentage of struggling readers in half and had huge gains in the percentage of students at the proficient and advanced levels.”

In addition, SOCSD also uses the Fast ForWord program to help struggling students prepare for the state’s 3rd Grade Reading Summative Assessment. In fall 2014, the district used data from the spring MAP test to identify 55 students who would be entering third grade as Beginning Readers. By the end of the 2014-15 school year, of all the third graders who completed at least one Fast ForWord product, only one was still a Beginning Reader, according to Woodrum. “After the initial 3rd Grade Reading Summative Assessment and one retest, 85 percent of students who completed a Fast ForWord product passed that test. Considering that these were our struggling readers, those results are very, very good,” she said.

As a National Reference Site, the district will serve as a resource for other schools and districts seeking advice on how to best use the Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant programs to increase students’ reading proficiency. The district will also participate in research to help Scientific Learning enhance the effectiveness of its products and services.

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