SOURCE: Scientific Learning Corporation

August 30, 2005 09:00 ET

Miami-Dade Students Make Dramatic Gains After Fast ForWord®

93% of Retained Third-Graders Promoted to Fourth Grade After Making Significant Reading-Level Improvements on FCAT

OAKLAND, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 30, 2005 -- Scientific Learning Corporation's (NASDAQ: SCIL) Fast ForWord® family of reading-intervention products helped retained third-graders in a Florida school dramatically improve their performances on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT).

Students who had been retained in the third grade at Madie Ives Elementary in North Miami Beach, Florida, participated in a study that found that by using Scientific Learning's Fast ForWord family of reading-intervention products, the students made exceptional gains on the FCAT. More than half -- 54% -- of the students moved from Level 1 to Level 3 or beyond. While a one-level increase on the FCAT would have indicated solid progress, a two-level jump was dramatic and placed these formerly struggling readers in an average or beyond-average range.

Most impressively, 93% of these students, who were repeating third grade for the second time, were promoted to the fourth grade based on these results.

Study Protocol

In a study sponsored by Miami-Dade County Public Schools during the 2003-2004 school year, students spent an average of 46 days using Fast ForWord products, which develop and improve the cognitive skills essential for academic learning and reading success. The students used the products for 100 minutes, five days a week, and were monitored and coached by paraprofessionals under the supervision of district-certified personnel.

After Using the Fast ForWord Products

The students' improvements were dramatic. Prior to the study, the group's mean FCAT Reading Scale Score was 213; after Fast ForWord participation, the students' mean score jumped to 276. This is a statistically significant improvement. The score also approached the average FCAT Reading Scale Score -- 288 -- for all third-graders in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

Of the 28 students, 93% increased their FCAT Reading Scale Scores, allowing them to be advanced to the fourth grade; in addition, 54% moved from Level 1 to Level 3 or higher in reading skills.

"We were impressed with the results," said Dr. Tanya R. Brown-Major, Principal of Madie Ives Elementary. "The Fast ForWord products gave our students a huge boost by helping them to significantly improve their reading scores. We are looking forward to using Fast ForWord next year."

In addition to the 28 third-graders in the study, 141 other students at Madie Ives used the Fast ForWord products during the 2003-2004 school year, according to school administrators.

"This important study by the Miami-Dade County Schools is another verification of 30 years of neuroscience research that shows the brain is changeable and this change can be accomplished quickly through intense and frequent intervention," said Robert C. Bowen, Chairman and CEO of Scientific Learning. "These results, after just weeks of using the Fast ForWord software, demonstrate exceptional gains for these third-graders who were far behind their peers and expected reading levels. These significant outcomes were achieved by a dedicated educational team at Madie Ives Elementary and a unique intervention solution. We are proud of our partnership with Miami-Dade County Public Schools in their drive to bring universal literacy to every student served."

About Miami-Dade County Public Schools

Miami-Dade County Public Schools, located in southeastern Florida, encompasses 340 schools and serves approximately 360,000 students.

About the FCAT

The reading portion of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) is designed to assess student achievement of the high-order cognitive skills represented in the Sunshine State Standards for Reading. The primary metric for reporting student performance on the FCAT is the Scale Score.

About the Sunshine State Standards

The Sunshine State Standards were approved by the State Board of Education in 1996 to provide expectations for student achievement in Florida; they include Grade Level Expectations in the subject areas of language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.

About Scientific Learning Corporation

Scientific Learning produces the patented Fast ForWord® family of products, a series of computer-delivered reading intervention products that complement core reading instruction. Based on more than 30 years of neuroscience and cognitive research, Fast ForWord products help children, adolescents, and adults build the cognitive skills critical for improving reading and language skills.

The exercises align with the scientifically based reading-research guidelines and the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act. The efficacy of the products has been confirmed by independent researchers, by evaluating the results of standardized achievement tests, and by Scientific Learning's scientists.

For more information about Scientific Learning and its products, visit our Web sites at and, or call 888-452-7323.

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Mary Anne Petrillo
    Director of Marketing
    Scientific Learning Corporation
    (510) 625-2218
    Email Contact

    Investor Contact:
    Jane A. Freeman
    Senior Vice President and
    Chief Financial Officer
    Scientific Learning Corporation
    (888) 665-9707, ext. 5526
    Email Contact