System 44: Saginaw Public Schools
At a glance
  • Strong Evidence
  • Program: System 44®
  • Subjects: Intervention Curriculum, Literacy
  • Report Type: Efficacy Study, Study Conducted by Third Party
  • Grade Level: Elementary, Middle
  • Region: Midwest
  • Population: Students with Disabilities
  • District Urbanicity: Urban, Suburban
  • District Size: Medium
  • District: Saginaw Public Schools, MI
  • Participants: N=317
  • Outcome Measure: Comprehensive Test of Phonological Processing (CTOPP) Elision subtest, Test of Word Reading Efficiency (TOWRE) Sight Word Efficiency and Phonetic Decoding Efficiency subtests, Test of Silent Reading Efficiency and Comprehension (TOSREC), Reading Inventory, Phonics Inventory
  • Implementation: 60 minutes daily (Stand alone)
  • Evaluation Period: 2011–2012
  • Study Conducted by: RMC Research
Overview
Gold standard study reveals System 44 students outperform comparison group on measures of word reading fluency and comprehension.

Saginaw Public Schools (SPS) enrolls approximately 9,000 students in Grades PreK through 12. The majority of students in SPS are African American (65%), 20% are White, 13% are Hispanic, 1% are Asian/Pacific Islander, and less than 1% are American Indian/Alaskan Native. Eighty-one percent of students are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.

During the 2011–2012 school year, students from 12 elementary schools and four middle and K–8 schools in SPS were selected to participate in a randomized controlled trial study led by a third party research firm, RMC Research. In order to be eligible to participate, students had to meet the following three criteria: 1) perform below the 50th percentile on the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP); 2) score below 600 Lexile® (L) measures on the Reading Inventory®; and 3) demonstrate foundational reading deficiencies (Beginning or Developing Decoder) on the Phonics Inventory®. Eligible students who were placed into the System 44 classrooms at SPS during the 2011–2012 school year were expected to receive 60 minutes of System 44 instruction daily.

Results
Implementation Results

Overall, teachers expected System 44 to be more effective than their prior year’s program in the five foundational literacy skills listed above (phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension). These expectations were realized in phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary, and fluency according to Spring 2012 ratings of System 44 effectiveness. The differences between the perceived effectiveness of the prior program and the System 44 program, with respect to teaching phonemic awareness and phonics, were statistically significant.

Impact Results Overall

System 44 students performed significantly better than control group students on two of the individual standardized tests of word-level reading: CTOPP Elision (effect size of .27) and TOWRE Sight Word Efficiency (effect size of .16). This represents percentile gains of 11 points and 6 points, respectively. Phonics Inventory and Reading Inventory outcomes also showed positive gains for the System 44 students over the control group students. The impact was significant on Reading Inventory (effect size of .32). This represents a percentile gain of 13 points (Graph 1).

Impact Results for Students with Disabilities

Main effects for disability were revealed. The positive impact for students with disabilities was significantly larger than for the students overall on the CTOPP Elision (effect size of .36) and TOWRE Sight Word Efficiency (effect size of .24). This represents percentile gains of 14 points and 9 points, respectively. The positive impact was also significantly larger on Phonics Inventory Sight Word Fluency (effect size of .28). This represents a percentile gain of 11 points. In addition, the impact was significant on Reading Inventory (effect size of .34). This represents a percentile gain of 13 points (Graph 1).

Saginaw Graph 1

GRAPH 1. Saginaw Public Schools System 44 Students, Grades 4–8 (N=317)

Performance on Reading Measures, 2011–2012

Note. Results shown for measures where significant effects were found.

Impact Results for Middle School Students

The System 44 middle school students performed significantly better than the control group students on three of the individual standardized tests of word-level reading: CTOPP Elision (effect size of .30), TOWRE Sight Word Efficiency (effect size of .24), and TOSREC (effect size of .20). This represents percentile gains of 12 points, 9 points, and 8 points, respectively. When disaggregated by students with disabilities, the significance held for the CTOPP Elision (effect size of .12) (Graph 2). The impact was significantly greater for the System 44 middle school students than the control group middle school students on Reading Inventory (effect size of .49). This represents percentile gains of 18 points, 22 points, and 19 points, respectively. When disaggregated by students with disabilities, the significance held for Reading Inventory (effect size of .31) and Phonics Inventory Sight Word Fluency (effect size of .28). This represents percentile gains of 12 points and 11 points, respectively.

1.4 Saginaw Graph 2

GRAPH 2. Saginaw Public Schools System 44 Students, Grades 6–8 (N=145)

Performance on Reading Measures, 2011–2012

Note. Results shown for measures where significant effects were found.