Located in northwestern Kentucky, Daviess County School District (DCSD) serves students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. During the 2003–2004 school year, DCSD implemented READ 180 in one middle school and two high schools.
At Daviess Middle School (MS), sixth graders who scored below the 50th percentile on the Northwest Evaluation Association Measures of Academic Progress (NWEA MAP) reading test were selected to participate in the READ 180 reading intervention program. Participating middle school students were classified as students with disabilities, general education students, or alternative education students.
At Apollo High School (HS) and Daviess HS, ninth graders who scored below the 50th percentile on Explorer tests were also selected to participate. All high school READ 180 participants were designated as general education students.
Results from the NWEA® MAP® for 37 middle school students and the Comprehensive Test of Basic Skills (CTBS) for 85 high school students were collected and analyzed by the DCPS Assessment, Research, and Curriculum Department (2005). This analysis discusses the results for students at Daviess MS and Daviess HS only.
Findings reveal that middle school students achieved a statistically significant gain of 5.7 RIT (Rausch Units) on the NWEA MAP test. Typically, middle school students are expected to gain 3.2 RIT units. The actual RIT gain demonstrated by READ 180 students exceeded the typical RIT fall-to-spring gain by 2.2 points (as determined by the 2008 normative sample). This translates into nearly two years’ reading growth (Graph 1). Overall, 40% more students at Daviess MS were reading on grade level following one year of READ 180.
The CTBS is a norm-referenced test that assesses and compares individual student achievement to other students nationwide in the same grade. Ninety-five students with valid pretest and posttest CTBS scores were included in the data analysis. The CTBS is administered in the sixth and ninth grades.
At Daviess HS, 72% of the study sample had scored below average range on the CTBS when they were in sixth grade. After READ 180 intervention, only 45% of these students were reading below average. Meanwhile, the number of students reading above average doubled, from 25% to 52% (Graph 2). The average gain on the CTBS test from sixth to ninth grade for this cohort of READ 180 students was 6.0 National Percentile (NP) points.