The Michigan Department of Education has named Oakland, Calif.-based Scientific Learning Corp. (Nasdaq: SCIL) to its exclusive list of external service providers to whom struggling schools can turn this year for assistance in raising student achievement.

Scientific Learning is the creator of the Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant family of products, which help students strengthen brain processing and literacy skills, and increase reading proficiency.

More than 100 Michigan schools have been identified as needing improvement, and therefore qualify for School Improvement Grants from the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act, better known as the federal stimulus. By demonstrating a strong research base, evidence of effectiveness, and alignment to Michigan’s standards and assessments, Scientific Learning’s products may now be purchased by eligible districts, using SIG funds.

“For educators, there is no greater satisfaction than finding the educational solution that turns a frustrated, struggling student into an engaged student who makes significant progress,” said Jeff Tompkins, Michigan account manager for Scientific Learning. “We are privileged to support that remarkable transformation throughout the State of Michigan, and we are proud that the Michigan Department of Education has taken this step to make our Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant products more widely available to its schools.”

Indeed, hundreds of Michigan schools have experienced success using Scientific Learning’s patented Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant software. The Swartz Creek Community School District, for example, uses the Fast ForWord program as an intervention for special education referrals. As a result, the district saw 30 percent fewer referrals in the first two years of using Fast ForWord.

In the School District of the City of Royal Oak, students at Oakland Elementary began working on the Fast ForWord software in spring 2008. From fall 2007 to fall 2008, the percentage of Oakland Elementary students scoring at the proficient level or above in English language arts on the Michigan Educational Assessment Program increased.

“At Oakland Elementary, where MEAP scores had traditionally been low, students’ reading scores skyrocketed,” said Carol M. Hansen, executive director for student services. “Our speech and language teachers highly endorse the Fast ForWord program. They believe this is a key intervention, especially with students who have speech or language issues. It helps us zero in on students’ individual needs and give them the boost they need to be successful in the classroom.”

Designed to accelerate learning by developing the student brain to process more efficiently, the Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant educational software consists of scientifically proven, intervention programs that apply neuroscience principles to build the fundamental cognitive skills required to read and learn. The strengthening of these skills results in a wide range of improved critical language and reading abilities, such as phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, fluency, vocabulary, comprehension, decoding, working memory, syntax and grammar.

For more information, visit or call (888) 358-0212.

(c) 2010, WWJ Newsradio 950. All rights reserved.


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