TEXAS STUDENTS IMPROVE READING SKILLS USING LEXIA READING …More than 1,600 Schools Statewide Use Award-winning Software Program to Build Students’ Reading Skills and Confidence at All Ability Levels

CONCORD, Mass. — Research on the importance of early reading skills is clear: Students must read fluently and proficiently early in elementary school or they will face significant obstacles comprehending content in other subject areas as they get older. Students with reading skill deficiencies are more likely to struggle in school, are less likely to graduate high school and attend college and will have more trouble competing in the 21st Century global marketplace. With a focus on establishing strong, foundational reading skills, a growing number of Texas schools are turning to Lexia Reading®, a software program from Lexia Learning Systems®, to support struggling readers, challenge proficient readers and help all students establish a foundation for future academic success.

Regarded by the education industry as the technology company having the greatest impact on education,

Lexia Learning Systems’ scientifically based reading software is currently used in more than 1,600 schools in such Texas districts as El Paso, Amarillo and Waco Independent School Districts (ISD). Additionally, Plano ISD and Conroe ISD administrators recently added the highly effective software to their districts’ reading programs, while Donna ISD greatly expanded its license agreement to nearly 700 licenses for Lexia Reading.

Many Texas educators are embracing the unique and cost-effective technology, which offers more than 900 activities for reading skills development. Each of the age-appropriate, skill-specific activities conforms to federal guidelines. Students using the program work autonomously as the software detects when additional practice is needed. This “branching” technology ensures that students establish mastery of each reading skill before proceeding to the next skill.

In El Paso ISD, Burleson Elementary began their implementation of Lexia by introducing pre-kindergarten and pre-first-grade students, many of whom are in Tier II of their Response to Intervention (RTI) program, to phonological principles and the alphabet — both proven predictors of reading success. The students, working independently, spent 25-30 minutes per day, four or five days each week in the reading lab with teachers on-hand to support, guide and intervene when necessary.

According to Burleson Principal Pamela Howard, the impact of Lexia Reading is felt across several grade levels. Previously, Burleson students’ reading scores ranked among the lowest in the district. However, in 2008-09, third graders posted a 100 percent pass rate for reading. Fourth graders logged a 94.5 percent pass rate in reading and 99 percent in writing, and fifth graders posted a 95 percent pass rate in reading.

“By initiating Lexia Early Reading in pre-kindergarten and pre-first classes, followed by Lexia Primary Reading in the later grades, we have implemented a successful, customized intervention strategy, which is delivering stronger readers, increasing their love of reading, and helping improve test scores,” said Howard.

“Texas has always served as a model for other states in the advancement of research-based instruction and academic achievement through technology-driven programs,” said Nick Gaehde, chief executive officer, Lexia Learning Systems. “As a result, Texas educators and students are benefiting from the most advanced educational technology to help teachers target students’ individual needs with customized practice and instruction.”

Because of the state’s focus on technology and efficacy research, many districts are quick to embrace programs like Lexia Reading as integral parts of their reading instruction.

“We’ve made great strides in reading progress since implementing Lexia Reading,” said Sue Howell, Amarillo ISD core curriculum specialist for English language arts/reading. “The program provides data that helps each teacher pin-point an individual student’s skill gaps and understand exactly where help is needed. Lexia and its implementation support have been invaluable factors in our success in Amarillo.”

Educators in Amarillo and Waco, who have been Lexia customers for several years, are among the many schools who credit the program’s integrated assessment reporting and real-time snapshot reports as integral to their success with Lexia Reading. Teachers have access to constant progress monitoring at the individual, class, group, school, and district level, to assess needs and customize instruction.

“If a student is struggling with a particular skill, Lexia will provide teachers with targeted instructional materials; provide students with practice using those skills, and then provide assessment to ensure the skills are learned,” said Dr. Terri Patterson, executive director of elementary education and professional development in Waco ISD. “This cycle repeats until students master the concept. With individualized instruction, struggling students receive the required support while students demonstrating proficiency continue to be challenged by moving on to advanced concepts.”

For more information about Lexia Reading, visit www.lexialearning.com/products.

About Lexia Learning

Lexia Learning Systems, Inc., headquartered in Concord, Massachusetts, is one of the most highly regarded reading software companies in the nation. Established in 1984, the company provides a flexible, Web-enabled technology that is scientifically based and proven to increase reading proficiency in students at all levels of ability, pre-K to adult. Today, Lexia’s programs, including its flagship product, Lexia Reading, are used as an essential part of reading instruction in more than 13,000 schools nationwide, and have helped more than one million students learn to read. In 2009, Lexia Reading was recognized as one of only 10 programs to have ever been deemed to show effectiveness in two or more Beginning Reading Skills categories by the What Works Clearinghouse. To learn more about Lexia, please visit www.lexialearning.com or call 1-800-435-3942.