In 2003, only 38% of students at Florida’s Indiantown Middle School met or exceeded Elementary Secondary Education Act (ESEA) requirements. By 2009, that number had risen to 67%. What was responsible for this remarkable turnaround in a school where 80 percent of students are Hispanic and 50 percent attend English as a Second Language (ESL) classes?
One positive influence cited by principal Debbie Henderson is the use of the Web-based, interactive software program I CAN Learn® Instructional Improvement System.
"The I CAN Learn® Instructional Improvement System helps our teachers reach students who have previously not done well in math,” explained Henderson. She added that the system allowed gifted students to progress even while slower students might need more time to master the material.
Independent, peer-reviewed studies have concluded that the I CAN Learn® Instructional Improvement System closes the achievement gap by nearly one-third on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) <http://www.icanlearn.com/results.pdf>. In 2009, the U.S. Department of Education's What Works Clearinghouse <http://www.icanlearn.com/results.pdf> noted “positive effects in math achievement.”
Classrooms in 32 states are currently using the I CAN Learn® Instructional Improvement System, and recently California and Oklahoma adopted it as a textbook.
In California, the system is being used in 36 schools, including one school in the Los Angeles Unified School District which saw a 175% increase in the number of 8th graders passing state tests after one year's use.
Pat Chawannakul, an 8th grade math teacher at Sepulveda Middle School in Los Angeles Unified School District noted how the system affects student performance. "All students are individually working for mastery and success at their own level," said Chawannakul. "I find that students are not afraid to ask questions because they are not being judged by the rest of the class."
The number of students meeting ESEA requirements at Sepulveda Middle increase by nearly 40 percent since they started using the program in 2005.