Reading Assistant Results

Empirical Evidence: Case Studies From Schools

Reading Assistant uses speech recognition to help children read out loud, privately (and so not self-consciously), with real-time help and corrections. If a child can read just ten minutes more every day for a year, the research suggests they can improve their reading percentile scores by as much as forty points. One study shows gains from the 30th percentile to the 70th percentile.

While we are not a school, Reading Assistant has to date only been offered in schools and most often after success with Fast ForWord. Here are some school district stories. Remember that while these Reading Assistant results are posted on the website of the developer, the school districts involved have agreed to the results being published.

Kentucky Elementary School 4th Graders Achieve 100% Reading Proficiency

The 4th grade class of Brodhead Elementary School in Brodhead, Kentucky achieved a 100% reading proficiency rate, a remarkable mark relative to the state average of 30%.

Brodhead Elementary saw results right from the outset. After seeing gains in its initial program just for struggling readers, it rolled the program out to the whole grade several months later.

Struggling Third And Fourth Graders Gain in Fluency

Four of the five elementary schools in Chelsea, MA, increased reading fluency by 112% above national norms in third grade, and by 108% above national norms in fourth grade. The schools incorporated the Reading Assistant program into their curricula to help bring struggling students up to grade reading level.

The results of testing done near the end of the school year demonstrated above average improvement for all third and fourth graders using the technology, reversing years of below average performance.

“These results are unprecedented,” said Denise Maresco, a Literacy Director in the Chelsea School District. “We have been searching for a solution that would work for every student and [Reading Assistant] has met our needs and exceeded our expectations.”

Improvements In Reading Fluency Lead To A Love Of Reading And Better Behavior

All twenty elementary schools and four middle schools in Laredo ISD in Laredo, TX, have incorporated Reading Assistant software into their resource classrooms in an effort to improve Special Education students’ reading fluency, vocabulary and comprehension.

“We needed this program because over ninety percent of the students in the district speak Spanish at home,” says Alma Rodriguez, Assistive Technology Coordinator, “so it is challenging for many to practice their English reading skills with their parents. This program is giving them the feedback they need to develop fluency in English. In less than a year of using the program, the students in all grade levels are experiencing significant improvements. They are learning to love reading!”

Special Education students in all of the twenty elementary, four middle and three high schools have used the program an average of three days per week for about 25 minutes per session.

“We are seeing great results from Reading Assistant,” says Oralia Hinojosa-Cortez, Instructional Specialist at Katherine Tarver Elementary School. “The students are not only learning how to read better, but they are truly enjoying it.”

Increasing Self Esteem, Improving Behavior

At Martin High School, Reading Assistant was used to help children who resisted reading. The teachers noticed that the software helped students improve their reading skills, which has enhanced their self esteem.

ELL Students See A Marked Improvement in Reading Proficiency

At the start of the 2006 school year, administrators at Skyline Elementary School in Cape Coral, FL, found themselves faced with an English Language Learner body that had nearly doubled in size from 23 percent to 41 percent. An increased focus on fostering reading proficiency for ELL students became a top priority.

In January 2006, Reading Assistant was integrated into Skyline’s reading curriculum, which already included multiple reading programs including Harcourt Trophies Reading Program and Accelerated Reader by Renaissance Learning. Reading Assistant was being used by approximately 60 percent of the student body and after noticing a marked improvement in reading proficiency, Skyline officials decided to increase student usage.