Clark County School District, NV

Dropout rates decreased at two READ 180 high schools by 35% and 55%.


Evaluation Period: 2002-2006  
Grades: 6–9 
Category: Disability, English Language Learners
Assessment: Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI)
Participants: N=423 (Middle School); N=2,226 (High School)  
Implementation: 90-minute model


Located in Las Vegas, Nevada, Clark County School District (CCSD) first implemented READ 180 at eight middle schools and two high schools during the 1999–2000 school year. In order to measure the effectiveness of READ 180 with middle school students, CCSD collected pretest and posttest data from the SRI during the 2002–2003 school year. For this analysis, the data from 14 middle schools were analyzed by Dr. Rosemary Papalewis (2003). In a separate analysis and in order to examine the impact of READ 180 on high school students, CCSD collected SRI data from the 2004–2005 school year from 1,945 ninth graders; these data were analyzed by Keith Zvoch and Larry Letourneau (2006). In addition to these analyses, high school dropout rates were later reported by Emily Richmond (2006) in the local paper.


Middle School Results (Papalewis, 2003) SRI Normal Curve Equivalent (NCE) and Percentile Rank (PR) scores were obtained for 423 READ 180 students who completed pretests during August–October 2002 and posttests during March–May 2003. During 2002 to 2003, CCSD was shifting their student tests from the Terra Nova test (fall 2001) to the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (fall 2002); therefore, comparison scores were not available for the purposes of this study. From pretest to posttest, READ 180 students demonstrated an average gain of 119 Lexile (L) measures and a PR gain of five points on SRI (Table 1). These gains correspond to an average NCE gain of 7.3. An analysis of SRI scores revealed that these improvements were statistically significant (p<0.01).

Papalewis’s analysis also examined the percentage of students at pretest and posttest in each of the four SRI Performance Levels: Below Basic, Basic, Proficient, and Advanced. After participation in READ 180, 34% of sixth graders, 50% of seventh graders, and 62% of eighth graders improved their Performance Level (Graph 1).

High School Results (Zvoch & Letourneau, 2006) During the 2004–2005 school year, SRI scores were collected and analyzed for ninth-grade READ 180 students. Findings from a growth analysis revealed that students with disabilities and English language learner (ELL) students grew at a faster rate than their general education and English proficient peers, respectively. In fall 2004, students with disabilities were at a significantly lower reading level than general education students. After one year of READ 180, students gained, on average, just over half (0.54) of a scale score point per day as compared to the general education average gain of approximately one quarter of a scale score point per day. As a result, the gap in performance between students with disabilities and general education students was reduced from 150 to 80 scale score points (or, from 0.60 to 0.32 of a standard deviation). Similarly, ELL students grew faster than their English-proficient peers during ninth grade. ELL students gained an average of half (0.50) a scale score point per day, whereas English proficient students gained just over one quarter of a scale score point per day. The achievement gap between ELL and English proficient students was thereby reduced from 200 to 140 scale score points (or, from 0.80 to 0.56 of a standard deviation).

High School Results (Richmond, 2006) Following the results presented above, high school dropout rates were reported in the local paper. According to Richmond, two high schools in CCSD attributed decreases in their dropout rates, in part, to the introduction of reading intervention with READ 180. At Cimarron-Memorial High School, which began its READ 180 program with 215 students during fall 2004, and at Centennial High School, which began its program with 106 students in fall 2005, the dropout rate decreased by 35% and by 55%, respectively, during the first year of READ 180implementation. Overall dropout rates in CCSD decreased by 11% during 2004–2005 and 13% during 2005–2006 (Graph 2).