PreK-12 Market Headlines

Test Scores Dramatically Improve when Fast ForWord® Is Implemented

High Schooler Reading at 2nd Grade Level Goes to College after Using Fast ForWord Software;

OAKLAND, Calif.--(via BUSINESS WIRE)--When Kenny Hilliard reached high school, he was a gifted football player; he was not a gifted student. He was reading at the level of a second grader and struggled in all of his academic courses. School district officials in St. Mary Parish, Louisiana, originally put him on a GED track, hoping he could earn a general high school equivalency diploma instead of a traditional diploma. But today, Kenny is looking forward to not only graduating from Patterson High School with the traditional diploma, but also to attending LSU on a football scholarship.

“What changed is that Kenny did a computer program called Fast ForWord,” said Patterson High School Principal, Rachael Wilson. “He is such a talented football player, and his talents can carry him far, but recruiters are looking for kids who have talent and good grades. The first two questions recruiters ask me are ‘What kind of kid is he?’ and ‘What kind of grades does he make?’ Thanks to the progress Kenny made in Fast ForWord, he does not need to rely on athletic talent alone.”

Kenny says he was a little nervous at first, but he decided to give Fast ForWord a try. It is a program that is proven to accelerate learning and increase reading proficiency in students from kindergarten through high school. The software uses a “brain fitness” approach to learning and actually improves how the brain learns.

“It worked,” said Wilson. “Within weeks, Kenny began to see a change in his ability to focus. Over time, his reading comprehension improved dramatically and that’s helped him in all subjects, and he has the GPA and ACT scores required for enrollment into a four-year university.”

Kenny is not an anomaly. During the 2006-07 school year his school district, St. Mary Parish Public School District implemented school wide use of the Scientific Learning Fast ForWord software at eight elementary schools. All of them were at risk of being taken over by the state because their students performed so poorly.

“Since then, students have shown dramatic improvement,” said Superintendent Donald Aguillard, PhD. “For example, in 2008, the district exceeded the state average for the percentage of fourth graders reading at or above the basic reading level. That was the first time in a decade that we’d seen anything like that.”

During the 2008-09 and 2009-10 school years Fast ForWord software was extended to the rest of the district. In just four years, the percentage of fourth graders in the district who performed at or above the basic reading level on standardized tests increased from 51 to 78 percent. Fourth grade students who went to summer school were retested last August and the gains were bigger still – 92 percent of them were reading at grade level or above.

“Fast ForWord is clearly a powerful tool that can make a difference in our children’s education,” said Dr Aguillard. “It would go a long way in solving the education crisis in this country if more school districts used it.”

“Before Kenny did Fast ForWord, I was worried sick that he would drop out of school,” said Brenda Hilliard, Kenny’s mother. “I knew something was different when he began reading on his own. I’d find him reading sports magazines. I knew then, that he was actually understanding what he was reading. Now he’s going to college. I am so proud of him.”

Kenny is scheduled to start LSU in January. “I would tell anybody who’s struggling in school to give Fast ForWord a try. It works,” said Kenny. “I’m proof.”

Fast ForWord software is in use in thousands of school districts across the country. At-home versions also exist. The Brain Pro service helps students who are reading below grade level while Brain Spark software is designed for students who are reading at grade level, but who want to improve their proficiency.

About Scientific Learning Corp. (NASDAQ:SCIL)
We accelerate learning by applying proven research on how the brain learns. Scientific Learning’s results are demonstrated in over 200 research studies and protected by over 55 patents. Learners can realize achievement gains of 1 - 2 years in as little as 8 - 12 weeks and maintain an accelerated rate of learning even after the programs end.

Today, learners have used nearly 3 million Scientific Learning software products, which apply “Brain Fitness” principles to the areas of English language and reading. We provide our offerings directly to parents, K–12 schools and learning centers, and in more than 40 countries around the world. For more information, visit www.scientificlearning.com or call toll-free 888-358-0212.

Contact: Scientific Learning Corporation, Jessica Lindl, 510-625-6784, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Product Management, jlindl@scilearn.com