Virginia schools conduct student performance study

In order to meet President Obama’s mandate for education reform, schools in Virginia are implementing learning programs that have shown to improve student performance. The school districts are now using Scott Foresman My Sidewalks, a research-based reading solution for K-5, published by Pearson.

Pearl Sample Elementary in Culpeper County is one of the schools successfully using My Sidewalks—after one year of implementing the program, the number of students passing Virginia’s Phonological Awareness Literacy Screening increased by 11% in kindergarten, 2% in first grade, and 8% in second grade. Pearl Sample Elementary reading specialist Susan Campbell says the school was eager to add My Sidewalks to their curriculum because research suggests that children who do not learn to read by third grade will most likely not catch up, and are likely to drop out of school. She adds that the Pearl Sample K-3 students have enjoyed the program, and teachers found it to be a helpful extension to their curriculum rather than a remedial course.

Recent national, independent research from Magnolia Consulting, LLC was conducted in line with the standards of the Department of Education’s What Works Clearinghouse, and reinforces Virginia’s outcomes. The research showed that struggling elementary school readers made “significant learning gains” in reading fluency, vocabulary and comprehension after using My Sidewalks. The research also found that the program “far exceeded average yearly reading achievement growth” on results from the Group Reading Assessment and Diagnostic Evaluation (GRADE), with third grade students using My Sidewalks showing a growth of 1.8 grade equivalent. The report can be accessed at Pearson’s Web site.