During the 2003–2004 school year, Saint Paul Public Schools implemented READ 180 in 11 middle schools to accelerate struggling readers’ academic performance.
A total of 820 students participating in the READ 180 program during the 2003–2004 school year. Four hundred thirteen were seventh graders and 407 were eighth graders. Of these, 29% were African American, 31% were Asian American, 24% were White, 14% were Hispanic, and 2% were Native American. Approximately 45% of students were classified as general education students, 34% were classified as English learners (EL), and 15% were students with disabilities. Data analysis was limited to a sample of 573 seventh and eighth grade students who had both pre- and post-test Reading Inventory® scores.
Admon (2005), an independent researcher, collected pretest and posttest Reading Inventory scores from 573 seventh- and eighth-grade students (2005). Following one year of READ 180 instruction, data indicate that READ 180 students exceeded fall-to-spring Lexile® (L) growth on the Reading Inventory (p<0.01). Typically, middle school students performing at the 25th percentile are expected to gain 75L. Findings indicate that READ 180 students achieved an average gain of 110L, 35L higher than expected annual growth. In addition, as Graph 1 shows, the Reading Inventory Lexile gains exhibited by students classified as ELL or as having a disability also exceeded annual growth expectations (136L and 133L, respectively). An analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed that mean pretest to posttest gains between these subgroups were not significantly different (p=0.13). This suggests that READ 180 can be used effectively with diverse readers.
The percentage of students falling into each of the Reading Inventory Performance Levels—Below Basic, Basic, Proficient, and Advanced—was examined in 2003 and 2004. In 2003, prior to READ 180, 86% of targeted students fell in the Below Basic or Basic Performance Levels. However, by spring 2004, only 72% did, a reduction of 14%. Conversely, the percentage of students falling into the Proficient and Advanced categories doubled, from 14% to 28%. Further, 61% of students who performed at the Below Basic Performance Level in 2003 moved to the Basic Performance Level or higher (Graph 2).
Data on level of READ 180 implementation was also provided for each classroom. Graph 3 depicts the amount of student growth in Reading Inventory stanines in classrooms with varying amounts of time devoted to READ 180. T-test and regression analysis show that students spending a greater number of hours on the READ 180 software were more likely to exhibit improvement on the Reading Inventory. For example, schools with daily READ 180 classes over 70 minutes performed significantly better than schools with classes under 70 minutes.
Admon, N. (2005). READ 180 Stage B: St. Paul School District, Minnesota. New York, NY: Scholastic Inc.
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