READ 180: Los Angeles Unified School District

At a glance

  • Moderate Evidence
  • Program: Read 180®
  • Subjects: Literacy Curriculum, Intervention Curriculum
  • Report Type: Efficacy Study, Study Conducted by Third Party
  • Grade Level: Middle
  • Region: West
  • Population: English Learners
  • District Urbanicity: Urban
  • District Size: Large
  • Implementation Model: 80+ Minutes
  • District: Los Angeles Unified School District, CA
  • Participants: N=1,074
  • Outcome Measure: Stanford Achievement Test Series, Ninth Edition (SAT-9), Reading and Language Arts
  • Evaluation Period: 2000–2001
  • Study Conducted by: Papalewis (2004)
Limited-English proficient READ 180 students outperformed their nonparticipating peers on SAT-9.

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is a large, urban school district with a diverse student body. During the 2000–2001 academic year, LAUSD implemented READ 180 with eighth-grade students in their Intensive Academic Support (IAS) program. Students were enrolled in IAS based on several criteria, including poor performance on the Stanford Achievement Test Series, Ninth Edition (SAT-9); receiving a grade of D or F in eighth-grade English the prior year; and failing the district writing performance test.

The large majority of READ 180 students in IAS were Hispanic (78%). More than two-thirds of the READ 180 students (69%) were classified as English learners: 42% were limited English proficient (LEP) and 27% of students were recently reclassified fluency English proficient (RFEP).

In order to monitor READ 180 implementation, a trained observer visited 25 READ 180 classrooms in 21 middle schools. The one-hour visitations occurred May through June 2001. Almost all of the classes were 90-minute class periods where whole-group instruction was observed. All of the classes were 15–20 students in size. Core class activities were observed in 19 out of the 25 classrooms. In general, there was evidence in more than half of the classrooms observed that the READ 180 program was on model and operating well. In several classrooms, use of student data to improve instruction needed attention and monitoring by teachers.

Papalewis (2004) collected and analyzed pretest and posttest SAT-9 Reading and Language Arts test data for 537 eighth grade READ 180 students. A group of 536 students not participating in any special intervention, matched on pretest means, gender, ethnicity, and language proficiency, was chosen for comparison purposes. Data from the 2000 and 2001 SAT-9 Reading and Language Arts tests were used to measure student achievement for all 1,074 students. Independent t-tests revealed that the READ 180 participants demonstrated significant gains in reading achievement from 2000 to 2001. On average, students enrolled in READ 180 averaged a statistically significant gain of 3.1 NCEs in Reading and almost 2 NCEs in Language Arts on SAT-9. In contrast, the comparison group experienced a loss of 6.6 NCEs in Reading and 2.7 NCEs in Language Arts. Further, the average posttest NCE score was significantly higher for READ 180 students than for the comparison group on both the Reading and Language Arts tests (Graph 1).

When disaggregated by English language classification, findings indicated that these trends continued for READ 180 English learners. After one year in READ 180, students who were classified as LEP gained 3.0 NCEs in Reading and 2.0 NCEs in Language Arts, while students who were designated as RFEP gained 2.9 NCEs in Reading and 2.5 NCEs in Language Arts (Graph 2).

4 2 Los Angeles Graph1

GRAPH 1. Los Angeles Unified School District READ 180 and Non-READ 180 Students, Grade 8 (N=1,074)

Performance on SAT-9 Reading and Language Arts, 2000 and 2001

Note. The change in NCE score is statistically significant for READ 180 students on both Reading (p<0.05) and Language Arts (p<0.05).

4 2 Los Angeles Graph2
GRAPH 2. Los Angeles Unified School District LEP and RFEP READ 180 Students, Grade 8 (N=368)

Performance on SAT-9 Reading and Language Arts, 2000 and 2001

(Papalewis, R. 2004). Struggling middle school readers: Successful, accelerating intervention. Reading Improvement, 41(1), 24–37