Colorado Schools Double Reading Improvement Rate with Imagine Learning Academy

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Although U.S. fourth-grade reading scores have remained stagnant since 2007, Colorado schools are increasing student reading proficiency with Imagine Learning Academy, an afterschool supplemental education services (SES) program. A recent study showed Imagine Learning Academy to be the most effective software-based SES program implemented by Denver Public Schools. Kindergarten through third-grade students who participated in Imagine Learning Academy saw twice the improvement rate of a comparison group.

When I look at the reports, I can see the students are at a variety of levels and continue to move forward from where they’ve started. I've seen a lot of increase.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress has revealed that fourth-grade reading scores have not improved since 2007, when only one-third of fourth-grade students scored at or above Proficient in reading. However, Colorado’s Denver Public Schools is combatting this underachievement epidemic and increasing proficiency for struggling readers through an afterschool program that pairs educational technology with trained tutors.

Title I students across Colorado are participating in Imagine Learning Academy, an afterschool supplemental educational services (SES) program. A recent study of SES programs in Colorado showed that kindergarten through third-grade students who participated in Imagine Learning Academy made twice as much progress in reading as their peers who participated in other SES programs.

Imagine Learning Academy students receive two to three hours of individualized language and literacy instruction each week through Imagine Learning PLUS, an award-winning software program that features interactive, multi-sensory activities. The program drills students on essential reading areas such as phonological awareness, phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. Students also receive one-on-one attention from trained Imagine Learning Academy tutors who work with students to reinforce skills taught by the software program.

Imagine Learning PLUS tracks and summarizes student progress in real-time reports that are easily accessible for teachers and administrators. “When I look at the reports, I can see the students are at a variety of levels and continue to move forward from where they’ve started,” said Principal Hurrieta at Godsman Elementary in Denver. “I’ve seen a lot of increase.”

Of the 25 SES providers evaluated for literacy instruction, Imagine Learning Academy outperformed all other software-based programs. Imagine Learning Academy students showed more progress in reading than students in nearly all of the exclusively one-on-one tutoring services, which were significantly more costly than Imagine Learning Academy.

The study was conducted by OMNI Institute, a third-party research group commissioned by the Colorado state government to evaluate the effectiveness of Colorado SES programs. The group reviewed the progress of more than 26,000 students across 20 school districts in Colorado and found Imagine Learning Academy to be the most effective software-based solution used in an SES setting. Imagine Learning Academy students in kindergarten through third grade who had previously scored Below Grade Level Target showed twice the improvement of students in a comparison group. Additionally, 35.5 percent of Imagine Learning Academy students in grades four through ten who started at Unsatisfactory or Partially Proficient levels showed reading improvement, outperforming students in nearly every other SES program in Colorado.

Visit http://www.cde.state.co.us/FedPrograms/dl/imp_ses_evalyr2.pdf to access the full study by OMNI Institute.

About Imagine Learning
Imagine Learning delivers award-winning educational solutions to English learners, struggling readers, students with disabilities and early childhood education students throughout the U.S. and around the world. Imagine Learning English is a language and literacy software program that uses engaging, one-on-one instruction to meet students’ individual needs and provides real-time reports that give teachers comprehensive data on student progress. Visit us online at http://www.imaginelearning.com to learn how we can help you meet your students’ individual needs.

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Taylor Rose
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