Students Across Alabama Improve Foundational Reading Skills with Lexia Reading

Students Across the State Experience Significant Success with the Program’s Differentiated Skills Practice, Embedded Assessment and Targeted Instruction


BOSTON (JANUARY 3, 2012) — According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than $2 billion is spent each year on students who repeat a grade because they have reading problems.  Determined to change reading education by supporting struggling readers, Alabama schools and districts have been turning to the award-winning Lexia Reading® program to challenge proficient readers and help all students establish a foundation for future academic success.

The reading software, known for its ground-breaking, technology-based system of differentiated skills practice, embedded assessment, and targeted instruction, is uniquely designed to advance reading skills development for all students pre-K through fourth grade, and intensify and accelerate learning for at-risk students in grades 4-12.  A recent national sample revealed that 87 percent of K–3 at-risk students using Lexia Reading advanced one or more grade levels to finish the year working on grade level material.

As one of the nation’s most highly regarded providers of reading software, Lexia Learning System’s® scientifically based program has been implemented in hundreds of schools and districts across Alabama, including classrooms in Dale, Cleburne, Bibb, Shelby, and Elmore County Schools, as well as Gadsden City Schools. Additionally, Birmingham City School administrators have been piloting this highly effective software in their district, while Jefferson County has expanded its use of Lexia Reading to serve more elementary and middle school students.

“When the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scores in reading were released, the average reading score for all fourth-graders in 2011 showed little improvement from 2009, and that needs to change,” said Nick Gaehde, president and chief executive officer of Lexia Learning.  “No two students are the same.  We need to teach to their individual needs in order to improve overall reading proficiency scores.  Using the most advanced technology in the education market, Lexia Reading is helping Alabama students achieve reading success and attain a higher level of academic growth.”

Lexia Reading is a scalable, research-proven approach that provides educators norm-referenced measures that prioritize the students who are most at-risk, and recommends teacher-led, direct skill instruction to address specific skill gaps. As students work independently on Lexia Reading, they receive explicit, systematic and structured practice on foundational reading skills. Each of the age-appropriate, skill-specific activities conforms to federal guidelines and is aligned to Common Core State Standards. The fun, engaging software delivers scaffolded practice, advancing students to higher levels as they demonstrate proficiency.

In addition to supporting foundational skills development, the program also reduces schools’ dependence on traditional testing methods, while helping improve each student’s performance on grade-level assessments. Lexia Reading’sAssessment Without Testing™ provides real-time data on students’ specific skill gaps, as well as norm-referenced predictions of each student’s percent chance of reaching the end-of-year benchmark. The program then automatically identifies and prioritizes students for small group or individual instruction and provides educators with targeted instructional strategies and structured lesson plans to help each student improve performance on grade-level assessments. This compilation of student performance data is all done without administering a test, allowing schools to spend less time testing and reclaim weeks of instructional time.

Educators in Dale County that have implemented Lexia Reading as an essential component of their reading curriculum value the programs’ key features.

“I have seen remarkable progress in my students this year as a direct result of Lexia,” said April Thrower, Newton Elementary.  “In a world where teachers are asked to do more with less, Lexia provides a quick, systematic and effective resource for teachers to use.  When my students are on the program, I can quickly monitor their progress, narrow down what skills need to be re-taught, and reward them for their growth in reading.”

Jill Ezell, a reading coach at Ariton School added, “We had a second grade student who was new to our school.  He was at-risk in both academics and behavior, with a particular aversion to reading.  We began using Lexia shortly after he transferred to our school, and now he begs to go to the computer each day to work on reading with Lexia!”  

Educators in Gadsden City Schools began using Lexia Reading in 2010, and after seeing remarkable gains, Lexia Reading is taking center stage as the foundational learning software for many students, as well as a crucial intervention tool for struggling readers.

“Lexia Reading has been great for my students,” said Rhonda Perry, director of special education at Gadsden City Schools. “They are so proud when the program shows they completed an assignment and are ready to move on to the next assignment.  Lexia is definitely helping improve my students reading skills!”

Dr. Resia Brooks, principal at Chelsea Intermediate in Shelby County added, “At our school, students who need intensive instruction (Tier III) meet each morning before school for 20 minutes for more practice.  In addition, students are excited about accessing Lexia at home and are thrilled about meeting their program goals.  For us, this is one of the most beneficial aspects of Lexia: supporting our teachers in identifying specific reading skill deficiencies and guiding each teacher in their decisions regarding intensity and duration of instruction within our intervention framework.  Now after our data discussions, the teachers leave the meetings with a concrete plan and next steps to support instruction.”

The program’s reporting features allow educators to easily monitor performance at the student, class, grade, school or district level. Teachers and administrators can review the reports from school, home, or on a mobile device. They can analyze the data, and effectively and efficiently incorporate the recommended instructional strategies to improve proficiency, especially for Tier II and Tier III students.

In Birmingham City Schools, Paula Henderson, a teacher at Minor Elementary, offered, “I teach academically challenged children and it is sometimes difficult to get them motivated because they have been conditioned to fail and so their attitude is, ‘why bother?’  With Lexia, the students are pushing each other to excel and the carry-over to other subjects is amazing.  At EIP meetings, I am able to show parents real data that indicates their child’s unique strengths and struggles.”

Henderson concluded, “We are in the business of leading all of our children to be uncommon achievers, Lexia helps us make that happen.”


About Lexia Learning

Established with a promise to improve student literacy through the use of technology, Lexia has helped millions of students build reading skills. Lexia Reading is used as an essential component of reading instruction in thousands of districts across the country.  For more information, visit or call 1-800-435-3942.


Collin Earnst
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