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Effingham County Students Make Dramatic Reading Gains in 2013-14 School Year

Springfield, GA – Students in Effingham County’s READ 180® classrooms made dramatic gains in reading in the 2013-14 school year, with nearly half of them advancing the equivalent of two years in reading achievement, according to data released by the school district today. Of the ninth-graders placed in the program because they were deemed at risk of failing the state’s end-of-year literature exam, an impressive 65 percent passed the test. Students who participated in READ 180 in the ninth grade did so instead of taking the traditional ninth grade literature course.

The district uses READ 180, a blended learning reading program published by Scholastic, in its middle schools and at the high school to support its at-risk readers. In READ 180 classrooms, students rotate in small groups — adaptive technology, independent reading and direct instruction with the teacher. The program is the most thoroughly researched reading intervention program in the world, with dozens of independent studies proving its effectiveness in raising reaching achievement. More than 250 students were enrolled in READ 180 in the district this year, and more than 1 million nationwide.

The district implemented READ 180 during the 2012–13 school year, and completed its first full year using it in 2013-14.

State test results and student achievement data captured by the program showed:

  • In one year in READ 180, 39 percent of students scoring at the Below Basic or Basic level on a pretest in August, scored at or above the proficient level at the end of the school year.
  • Forty-six percent of READ 180 students demonstrated at least two years of growth in reading.
  • Sixty-five percent of 9th graders in READ 180 passed the end-of-year state literature test.

“We are very excited by the gains our students have made this year and the progress of our implementation,” said Dr. Gregory Arnsdorff, Assistant Superintendent of the Effingham County School District. “We selectedREAD 180 as an intervention for students who enter middle school still performing below grade level expectation. These students may be newer to our system or have been struggling readers throughout elementary school. READ 180 takes the talent of a highly qualified teacher and leverages the power of technology to create a classroom experience where students are partners in their learning and are motivated by highly engaging content and a computer program that provides teachers with information to continue to support their ongoing progress.”

Dr. Arnsdorff continued, “I’m particularly excited that students in one of our high schools where we piloted READ 180 as a substitute for the ninth grade literature class had exceptionally strong performance on the state assessment and continued to advance in reading proficiency. The high school students gained about two years of growth in reading, which puts them in a much better position for graduating on time.”

READ 180
 begins its third year of implementation in all three of the district middle schools and at Effingham County High School this August.

For more information about READ 180, visit the Scholastic media room at http://mediaroom.scholastic.com.

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