Reading Problem Becomes Opportunity for Scholastic

Reading Problem Becomes Opportunity for Scholastic
June 1, 2001

George A. Clowes

George Clowes is a Heartland senior fellow addressing education policy. He served as founding... (read full bio)

In a refreshingly quick and direct response to the latest U.S. Department of Education report on the nation's reading problems, Scholastic, Inc. launched on April 30 two new programs to improve the reading skills of America's students.

Scholastic, the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books, will offer a new Summer School Reading Program to help struggling readers improve their basic reading skills over an intensive six-week period, and a new Internet-delivered reading assessment program to build comprehension and vocabulary skills for all students.



Summer School Program

The Scholastic Summer School Reading Program™ is research-based and provides a daily schedule of skills-specific activities and components to support reading success through the use of high-interest literature and direct instruction, where lessons are practiced and reinforced with the whole class and in small groups.

The program provides a daily schedule of skills-specific activities and components to support reading success, and follows a recognized instructional cycle of Teach--Practice--Apply. Measured program outcomes include reading comprehension, reading fluency, vocabulary, grammar and writing skills, and listening and speaking skills.

"This year, thousands of children will be heading to summer school in great need of mastering basic reading skills within a short period of time," said Julie McGee, executive vice president of Scholastic Educational Publishing. "Scholastic Summer School Reading Program™ effectively addresses the issues facing struggling readers and provides much-needed support to summer school teachers and school districts across the country who are urgently seeking motivating programs that help to build skills and raise test scores to close the achievement gap."

Components of the new six-week program include Student Workbooks, Fluency Cards, Reading Skills Cards, and Phonics Instruction; a comprehensive, accessible Teacher Edition with minute-by-minute schedule options; Classroom Libraries of instructional, independent, and read-aloud books; and an Assessment Guide that provides weekly and pre/post tests. In addition to the weekly tests, daily practice with test-like questions aims to build students' test-taking confidence and competence.

For more information on the Summer School Program, call 1-800-SCHOLASTIC.


Reading Assessment via the Internet

Scholastic also announced the launch of iReAch™, an Internet-based reading assessment program aimed at building reading comprehension and vocabulary skills for students in grades 2-8 and preparing them for state and national standardized testing.

Using this literature-based assessment program, educators can monitor individual student performance and receive instructional support materials that directly address student reading needs.

iReAch™ first has students read full-length books selected from hundreds of well-known and award-winning titles, and then has them take multiple choice tests based on their grade level. The test questions have been correlated to every statewide assessment of reading curriculum framework and to the five major standardized tests: Metropolitan Achievement Test, California Achievement Test, Stanford Achievement Test, Iowa Test of Basic Skills, and the CTBS Terra Nova.

The resulting iReAch™ reports inform educators and administrators about how students are performing on every tested reading and vocabulary skill, and can be used as an indicator of how students will score on grade-level standardized tests. Delivered through a Web-based subscription service available at http://www.scholastic.com/ireach, the program can be accessed via the Internet in the classroom, in a library, or in a home setting. iReAch™ can produce individual, group, class, grade level, and school-wide progress reports.

"iReAch™ provides immediate feedback on how students are performing, as well as a critical preview of how they might perform on national tests, so that educators can build instruction around students' weakest skills," said Harry Barfoot, vice president and general manager, Scholastic Educational Publishing. "iReAch™ provides an effective tool for schools and districts in their efforts to close the reading achievement gap."

A limited-time 12-month subscription for the program is $99 for a teacher license accommodating 40 students, $349 for a school site license for 200 students, and $79 for 50 student site license extensions. Further information is available by calling 877/268-6871.



About Scholastic

With an 80-year history of serving the reading needs of K-8 educators and students, Scholastic's current educational publishing efforts are focused on producing research-based reading improvement instructional materials that help students overcome reading problems and achieve higher test scores. The company's reading improvement programs include market leaders Read 180, Scholastic Read XL and WiggleWorks®, plus Scholastic Phonics Reading, Scholastic Reading Counts and Building Language for Literacy.

Scholastic is the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books, providing proprietary book and software distribution through school book clubs, book fairs, and classrooms, as well as through the retail trade. The U.S. Scholastic Web site, http://www.scholastic.com, is a leading provider of educational services online for parents, teachers, and children.

George A. Clowes

George Clowes is a Heartland senior fellow addressing education policy. He served as founding... (read full bio)