Reading Test Scores on the Rise for Kids Nationwide

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Pearson's Innovative Research-based Curriculum Closes the Achievement Gap for 5 Million Students.

Our team conducted an extensive study of four reading series for potential adoption. This study included delving deeply into each of the series, searching for that which most closely aligned with the Alabama Course of Study, our K-5 Reading Curriculum, and high stakes testing.

With the most recent U.S. Department of Education's "Nation's Report Card" recording the highest reading scores for fourth graders in 15 years, school districts around the country are crediting the top selling Scott Foresman Reading Street curriculum with their students' dramatic improvements. This research-based program, published by the education company Pearson, and built on the standards set by the National Reading Panel, is now the foundation for reading instruction for five million students in more than 10,000 schools and districts across the country.

After just one year with Scott Foresman Reading Street, Garfield Elementary School in Revere, Massachusetts saw a 37 percent increase on its students' state reading assessment scores, a particularly significant achievement for a school where nearly half of the students come from homes where English is not the first language.

Garfield School Principal Salvatore Cammarata said, "Comprehension and vocabulary are really the keys to being successful in all areas of reading. Our students are now equipped with those skills and strategies and tools so that they can successfully apply them not only to reading, but in all other curriculum areas -- math, science, and social studies." He added, "And the proof is in the dramatic improvement in our scores."

Independent research of the Reading Street program supports the gains experienced by Garfield School, with improvements ranging from 30-50 percent.

The nation's number one reading program last year, Reading Street is designed to help teachers develop readers through motivating and engaging literature, scientifically research-based instruction, and a wealth of reliable teaching tools. Dean Brown, Pearson's Senior Vice President for Reading, said, "The program takes the guesswork out of differentiating instruction with a strong emphasis on ongoing progress monitoring and an explicit plan for managing small groups of students. In addition, Reading Street prioritizes skill instruction at each grade level so teachers can be assured they will focus on the right skill, at the right time, for every student."

Enthusiasm for Scott Foresman Reading Street continues to build in school districts around the country. More than 75 percent of elementary schools in Alabama have now adopted the reading curriculum, which was ranked number one of nine programs evaluated by the Alabama Reading Initiative in its "Expert Review of Core Reading Programs."

Marilyn Howell, Elementary Education Supervisor for Curriculum and Instruction for Alabama's Mobile County schools, described the decision-making process, "Our team conducted an extensive study of four reading series for potential adoption. This study included delving deeply into each of the series, searching for that which most closely aligned with the Alabama Course of Study, our K-5 Reading Curriculum, and high stakes testing." She added, "We were also looking for a program that made the most effective provision for all types and levels of learners, possessed an array of assessments, was most user friendly for teachers, and provided motivating and appealing literature. After close scrutiny, it was the consensus of the textbook committee that Reading Street and its companion intervention program My Sidewalks most completely met the criteria."

In Chicago more than 100 of the city's elementary schools have chosen Scott Foresman Reading Street to ensure that their students are building the literacy skills that they need for success in school and in life.

Chicago's Armour Elementary School faces its share of the challenges of urban education while working to ensure that its nearly 500 students who come largely from socio-economically disadvantaged homes achieve at the highest level. Yet, with a dedicated team of teachers, a committed administrator and the new Scott Foresman Reading Street curriculum, the number of students meeting or exceeding standards on the Illinois state assessment has increased 35 percent since 2006 and the number of students scoring proficient for reading has doubled.

Principal Shelley Cordova said, "Our teachers especially liked the award winning literature in Reading Street, the vocabulary activities, the phonics, and the English Language Learner component." She added, "We want any curriculum we use to be fun, energetic, interactive and something teachers can strongly believe in. Our teachers chose Reading Street because it had all of those features and would meet the needs of all of our students."

With the story chart and "Amazing Words" in the Reading Street curriculum, Chicago kindergarten teacher Donna Smith saw her students make great strides. "I had a lot of bilingual children in my class this year. A few of them even came to school not speaking any English," she said. "I used Reading Street to move them from learning letters to linking the amazing words in Reading Street to the pictures in the story charts. Now they are speaking English and beginning to read."

About Pearson:
Pearson (NYSE:PSO), the global leader in education and education technology, reaches and engages today's digital natives with effective and personalized learning, as well as dedicated professional development for their teachers. This commitment is demonstrated in the company's investment in innovative print and digital education materials for preK through college, student information systems and learning management systems, teacher professional development, career certification programs, and testing and assessment products that set the standard for the industry. The company's respected brands include Scott Foresman, Prentice Hall, Addison Wesley, Benjamin Cummings, PEMSolutions, Stanford 10, SuccessNet, MyLabs, PowerSchool, SuccessMaker, and many others. Pearson's comprehensive offerings help inform targeted instruction and intervention so that success is within reach of every student at every level of education. Pearson's commitment to education for all is supported by the global philanthropic initiatives of the Pearson Foundation. Pearson's other primary businesses include the Financial Times Group and the Penguin Group. For more information, go to and

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