GA District Improves Test Scores, Graduation Rate With Reading Program

Scientific Learning Corp. has named Murray County Schools a National Leadership Center based on student achievement after the use of the Fast ForWord® and Reading Assistant™ programs. The district is the first National Leadership Center in Georgia and one of only four across the United States.

“We believe that all children can learn and that high expectations result in high achievement,” said Dr. Vickie Reed, superintendent of Murray County Schools. “In our own research, we see a strong correlation between students’ use of the Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant programs and improved performance on the Georgia Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests(CRCT) and End of Course Tests.”

A high-poverty district, Murray County Schools began using the Fast ForWord online reading intervention in 2010 to help a group of high school students who were struggling in English language arts. Based on the students’ success, the district expanded the Fast ForWord program and implemented the Reading Assistant online reading tool in all 11 elementary, middle and high schools.

“From 2011 to 2013, the percentage of our students in grades 3-8 meeting or exceeding state standards on the CRCT in reading rose from 94 percent to 98 percent,” said Allison G. Oxford, Ed.S., director of instructional support services for Murray County Schools. “In 2013, the cohort graduation rate for our two high schools was 90 percent, compared to 78 percent for the state of Georgia.”

As a National Leadership Center, Murray County Schools will serve as an education demonstration showcase for other schools and districts seeking guidance on how to best use the Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant programs to increase students’ reading skills and achievement. The district will also participate in research to help Scientific Learning enhance its products and services.