System 44: Recovery School District

At a glance

  • Demonstrates a Rationale
  • Programs: System 44®, Read 180®
  • Subjects: Literacy Curriculum, Intervention Curriculum
  • Report Type: Efficacy Study
  • Grade Level: Elementary
  • Region: Southeast
  • District Urbanicity: Urban
  • District Size: Large
  • Implementation Model: 80+ Minutes
  • District: Recovery School District, LA
  • Participants: N=29
  • Outcome Measure: Reading Inventory
  • Evaluation Period: 2009–2010
  • Study Conducted by: Scholastic Research

Read 180 now incorporates the comprehensive foundational literacy skills scope and sequence from System 44.

The Recovery School District (RSD) in New Orleans, Louisiana, enrolls nearly 25,000 students in Grades K–12 in both traditional and charter schools. Created by legislation passed in 2003, RSD is designed to take underperforming schools and transform them into successful places for children to learn. Since 2005, RSD has had the added challenge of addressing the needs of children who experienced the traumatic events of Hurricane Katrina. RSD students are predominantly African American (98%). Thirteen percent are students with disabilities and 88% are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.

In 2009, RSD piloted System 44 in one fourth-grade classroom at Reed Elementary School. Students were selected to participate based on a number of criteria, including performing poorly on the Integrated Louisiana Education Assessment Program (iLEAP) and/or Louisiana Education Assessment Program (LEAP), scoring below 200L on the Reading Inventory®, and exhibiting difficulty with word-reading skills on the Phonics Inventory®. Most students demonstrated severe behavioral problems and were reading two to three years behind grade level. Reed Elementary School implemented System 44 as a stand-alone program for 90 minutes daily, five days a week in one fourth-grade classroom. The classroom followed a rotational model, including a whole-group introduction in which the teacher led a short warm-up activity to engage students and build phonemic awareness and phonics skills, followed by two 20–25-minute rotations on the instructional software and in small-group instruction.

Fourth-grade students with severe behavioral problems enrolled in System 44 achieve significant Lexile gains.

Fall 2009 and spring 2010 Reading Inventory data were collected for 29 fourth-grade participants. Overall, findings indicate that System 44 fourth-grade students demonstrated significant improvements in reading comprehension on the Reading Inventory. On average, students’ Lexile® (L) scores improved from 35L at pretest to 232L at posttest, a significant gain of 197L. The fourth-grade teacher reported observing a surge in student confidence and a decrease in behavior problems as students developed the ability to successfully access grade-level texts.

2 1 Recovery Graph 1

GRAPH 1: Recovery School District System 44 Students, Grade 4 (N=29)

Performance on Reading Inventory, 2009–2010

Note. The gain in Lexile score was statistically significant for students in fourth grade (t=6.20, p=.00).