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Last modified: 4/29/2016 8:04:20 AM
Research and Evaluation

An Evaluation of the SY2005–06 READ 180 Program in Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS)



The READ 180 program is an intensive, computer-adaptive reading intervention program designed to improve the skills of struggling readers. During the 2005–2006 school year, the READ 180 program was implemented in two of PGCPS’ high schools (Parkdale and High Point High Schools) as part of the Title V grant. This evaluation examines the reading achievement of ninth grade students who participated in the READ 180 program during the 2005–2006 school year, with the primary objective of determining the extent to which participation in the program resulted in improved reading achievement. In addition, the study examined whether the program targeted students most at risk of failing reading and the level of participation or involvement of students in the program. Findings from the program evaluation were mixed. The READ 180 program reached its target audience: students who were at risk (i.e., students facing serious challenges) in reading. Overall, the READ 180 program targeted students requiring additional instructional support (English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), special education, and Free and Reduced Priced Meals services) and at the lowest performance level of eighth grade reading achievement. However, results show no significant educational benefit for non-ESOL students (students not receiving ESOL services) who participated in the program. On the other hand, the results showed that participation in READ 180 program was positively associated with higher reading achievement among struggling readers in ninth grade who received ESOL services. Further analyses suggest that these findings are due, in part, to each group’s level of participation in the program, as measured by the number of READ 180 CDs completed. The READ 180 program was not effective among non-ESOL participants because they did not participate in the program enough (i.e., did not complete enough CDs) to receive the educational benefit of the program, whereas ESOL students benefited because of their higher level of participation.  Recommendations for improving the program and for future evaluations are discussed. 

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