is one of the nation’s largest school districts. During the 2002-03 school year, the district served over 162,000 students in grades K-12 in 241 schools and centers. FCPS is also one of the nation’s most active districts in offering research-based programs to meet student needs and improve learning for each of its students. READ 180, published by Scholastic, Inc., is one of the programs Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) in Virginia adopted for its ability to improve student performance. It is a comprehensive reading intervention program designed to improve the language skills of students who are reading below grade level. The program provides individualized and small group instruction through the use of instructional software, high-interest literature, and direct instruction in reading skills. In partnership with FCPS, Scholastic launched an assessment of the impact READ 180 has on student reading ability. READ 180 teachers were asked to provide information on the characteristics of their students and on student reading ability at the start and end of each student’s participation in the program. Teachers were also asked to complete a teacher survey on their implementation of READ 180 and their observations about its effectiveness. After assembling this information, Scholastic asked Policy Studies Associates, (PSA) to review and analyze it, and to report on its findings. This report presents those findings. It is based on PSA’s review and analysis of information provided to Scholastic by FCPS. PSA conducted no additional data collection of its own.
June 9, 2004