English Language Learners Gain an Average 2.4 Grade Levels of English Reading Ability in Richland Hills, TX

Lauren Williams's picture
Thursday, February 21, 2013

The last of six programs honored for the 2013 Read Right Award of Excellence has developed a site-based staff that is producing extraordinary results with English language learners, special education students, and regular education students.

"Richland Middle School in Richland Hills, Texas, is helping students improve in reading at a phenomenal pace," said Read Right Founder and CEO Dee Tadlock, Ph.D. "Teens are supposed to be the hardest students to remediate when a reading problem becomes established. Richland Middle School's staff and students are proving otherwise. They are successful with all kinds of students, and they are a model for the nation."

Richland Middle School conducted both pre- and post-testing for 113 students (ages 10-14) who had participated in the Read Right Intervention Program during the 2011-2012 school year. The instrument used was the norm-referenced, standardized Gates-MacGinite Test of Reading. The group averaged 2.4 grade levels of gain and a gain score of 19.6 NCEs or normal curve equivalents. Of those tested, 27 were special education (SPED) students who registered 1.8 grade levels of gain (14.0 NCEs), and 44 were English language learners (ELL) whose average gain scores were 2.4 grade levels of gain and 21.6 NCEs.

Read Right can be staffed with certified teachers or classified aides (or both), yet Richland Middle School has chosen to utilize 75 percent certified teachers in its program. "Our teachers have high expectations and procedures in place to make every minute count," noted Dr. Leeann Michalak Bartee, Richland Middle School principal. Within months of implementation, "our ELL and SPED population experienced at least one grade level gain. We contribute these gains to the consistency and quality of tutoring, as well as the support from fellow staff members and administration."

The following student quotes are from surveys conducted with students by Richland Middle School staff:

• Has Read Right helped you improve performance in other classes?
"In English, I was like okay at that class, and now I'm like 'BAM!' so good!" -- Student's Starting Reading Level: Grade 2-3. Status: Completed/Graduated at Grade 6-7.

"It has because in Social Studies, we have to read a lot of things so now that I am improving, I understand more and I'm doing better. I have a better attitude for my classes." -- Student's Starting Reading Level: Grade 1. Status: Excellent progress; still in the program.

• Would you recommend Read Right to someone else who needs help in reading?
"Read Right does help a lot and you can improve in everything you do because everything requires reading." -- Student's Starting Reading Level: Grade 2-3. Status: Completed/Graduated at Grade 8-9.

• Has your self-confidence changed since you've been in Read Right? If so, how?
"Yes, by doing better and not getting teased any more by other people when they say that I can't read and I know I can." -- Special Education Student's Starting Reading Level: Grade 1. Status: Excellent progress; still in the program.

• Are there other ways the reading improvement has affected you?
"My goals have been set higher. I told my mom that I wanna be in the top 12 in high school and I want to go to different colleges than I ever imagined before." -- Student's Starting Reading Level: Grade 3-4. Status: Completed/Graduated at Grade 8-9.

"I am talking better." -- English as Second Language Student's Starting Reading Level: Grade 2-3. Status: Completed/Graduated at a Grade 6-7 reading level.

• Has improving your reading changed your attitude toward school?
"Yes, because I read in every subject and now I can make better grades understanding more clearly." -- Student's Starting Reading Level: Grade 2-3. Status: Completed/Graduated at Grade 8-9.

If you'd like more information today about Read Right methodology for schools, colleges, and literacy projects or the Read Right Online Tutoring Service for groups or individuals, visit www.readright.com or contact me directly at the information below.