Joplin School District enrolled 7,785 students in Grades Pre-K through 12 in 2011. During the 2011–2012 school year, students from seven elementary schools, three middle schools, and one high school in Joplin School District were selected to participate in a partnership with READ 180 Next Generation. Of the READ 180 students, 74% were White, 10% were African American, 9% were Hispanic, 3% were Asian, 2% were Native American, and 2% were multiracial. Half of the students (50%) were students with disabilities, 5% were English learners (EL), and 76% received free or reduced-price lunch.
Students received 90 minutes of READ 180 instruction daily in place of the district’s regularly implemented English Language Arts (ELA) course. READ 180 usage data was collected during student use of the software program to determine the amount of time students spent on the software. The number of sessions that took place during this time, as well as the number of READ 180 segments that were completed, were collected.
A total of 337 students who participated in READ 180 were included in the analytic sample. Lexile® (L) measures from the Reading Inventory® were used to measure fall-to-spring gains in reading achievement over the course of the school year. Overall, READ 180 students experienced a significant average fall-to-spring Lexile gain of 232L, with 80% of students meeting or exceeding their individual yearly Lexile growth expectations (Graph 1). When broken down by grade, the Lexile gains experienced by Grades 4 through 9 were significant (the third-grade sample was too small to analyze statistically). Sixty-four percent of ninth graders met or exceeded their individual yearly Lexile growth expectations, as did 80% of eighth graders, 82% of seventh graders, 80% of sixth graders, 86% of fifth graders, 62% of fourth graders, and 83% of third graders.
Students with disabilities experienced a significant average fall-to-spring Lexile gain of 200L (Graph 2). Sixty percent of students with disabilities met or exceeded their individual yearly Lexile growth expectations, as did 88% of general education students.
Across the grades, students used the software an average of 30.7 hours over the year. An average of 103 sessions took place during this time, which resulted in the completion of 17 segments. It took students approximately 1.8 hours, or 6 sessions, to complete a segment. As Graph 3 displays, students who completed more software segments demonstrated greater Lexile gains than students who completed fewer segments.