We have two big goals for every student:
- A measurable boost on the program and
- Continued acceleration in the years following the program
While the reading gain on the program, 2+ years in ~6 months, is quantifiable, the other gains are less so. For those results, we rely on research and anecdotal customer stories, shared below.
The research, internal results and client feedback
Parents complete a behavioral survey starting out. This survey and our starting consults provide a reference point for future conversations.
While it’s not that scientific, the changes parent report are often vivid – “used to resist reading every night, now reads willingly,” “takes far less time over homework.” There are no metrics here, but the changes are consistent with expectations from the science. Read more here.
Our Internal Results
Gemm Learning uses the Reading Progress Indicator, a normed reading test delivered online, designed to be effective with minimal oversight. It’s about a 30-minute test.measuring phonemic awareness, vocabulary, decoding fluency and comprehension.
Students taking post-tests will see different versions, aligned in the same way.
On average, our students show about a 2-year gain in reading in about ~6 months on our program.
Peer Research (PDFs)
Fast ForWord software has 240+ research studies backing up its results. Furthermore, there have been a number of school district investigations, including the 2-year Nevada State study here which found Fast ForWord to be the most effective out of 24 reading programs tested.
Here is a compilation of research, white papers and articles about Fast ForWord.
NOTE: while we stand by the gains reported above, there are changes we don’t claim. We do not claim that we can help all students equally. Nor do we claim we can make a difference in every case. Learn more about our claims here.
Because we improve reading by strengthening deep-seated cognitive skills – learning MAPS: working Memory, Attention, Processing and Sequencing – the changes our students experience are often life-changing.
We pre- and post-test students using an assessment that aligns to the Woodcock-Johnson test of achievement.
On average, our student population averages a gain of 2-3 years.
This is an average however. We do have student who post 6-7 years of gain, meaning others are under 2 years. We share these numbers with parents, who typically confirm these gains if the school does its own testing.
In our client stories here, you’ll notice parents mention improvements in:
- Attention – in class and at home
- Homework efficiency
- Test taking
- Executive function and organization
- Social skills
- Learning confidence, more willing to take risks
Acceleration continues after Gemm
The chart to the right follows a Texas high school class for 5 years, measuring the impact of Fast ForWord. Note the gains after completion. Our internal experience is the same. We often hear: “She’s gone from strength to strength since completing Gemm.”
This is not a surprise. In fact, the science predicts it.
As children struggle to master reading and learning, higher-level skills — such as executive function and metacognition – have no room to develop.
Gemm Learning’s primary goal is to free your child from the constraints holding back reading and learning. Once those foundational skills are in place, higher level skills have room to grow. Most of this development occurs in the 1-2 years after finishing Gemm Learning, hence the reports of continuing gains.
There’s another x-factor after Gemm Learning, and that is the impact of boosted confidence. Once a child is processing efficiently, reading more comfortably and generally managing academic life, confidence improves and avoidance behavior melts away. This better effort and more positive attitude to learning brings its own rewards!
Online reading test