In 2016–2017, the Troup County School System (TCSS) in Georgia participated in a study to determine the impact of a collaborative partnership between TCSS, HMH Professional Services, and the International Center for Leadership in Education® (ICLE). The partnership was formed to address a need within the school system for a shift from a teacher-centered approach to student-centered learning that would enable application of knowledge in real-world situations and enhance college and career readiness. Specifically, the HMH/ICLE team worked with TCSS to build capacity in five key areas, one of which included implementing READ 180 Universal across the district to raise student achievement.
An area of analysis within the study was the impact of READ 180 Universal on student achievement results as measured by growth in Lexile® scores on the HMH Reading Inventory®. Data was collected for 1,313 students across 18 schools in Grades 4 to 9 who participated in the program for the 2016-2017 school year. These students completed at least 20 READ 180 Universal software sessions and two HMH Reading Inventory assessments at least eight weeks apart. Among the students who participated in the program, 55% identified as male. Sixty percent identified as African-American, 30% identified as White, 7% identified as multiple races, 2% identified as Asian, and less than 1% identified as Alaska-Native American or Pacific Islander.
Overall, READ 180 Universal students experienced an average fall-to-spring Lexile gain of 116L, from 600L to 716L, with 81% of students experiencing a Lexile gain and 61% of students exceeding average growth for the 2016–2017 school year. Graph 1 illustrates this growth overall and by student group.
Analyses revealed that there was a relationship between the number of segments completed and reading growth as measured by the HMH Reading Inventory. Students who completed 13 or more software segments (5 to 15 days per segment) experienced an average fall-to-spring Lexile gain of 160L whereas students who completed under five segments experienced an average fall-to-spring Lexile gain of 69L. Research indicates that students advance most quickly when they use READ 180 Universal instructional software daily. See Graph 2.
Overall, the collaborative partnership between TCSS, HMH Professional Services, and ICLE, including the implementation of READ 180 Universal as one of the school system’s core HMH instructional programs, has built the district’s capacity for accelerating student achievement. Significant gains in reading performance have occurred, graduation rates have increased by 6.6% over the past three years to 78%, and discipline referrals across the district have decreased 27% from the first semester of the 2016–2017 school year to the first semester of the 2017–2018 school year. Through this work, TCCS has positioned itself for long-term sustained improvement through targeted capacity building.