July 21, 2008

Orlando Elementary Schools Posting Highest FCAT Reading Gains Rely on SRA/McGraw-Hill Literacy Programs

ORLANDO, Fla., July 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Hungerford Elementary and Orange Center Elementary -- the two schools in Orange County Public Schools making the most progress on the latest Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test (FCAT) Grade 3 reading scores -- both use literacy programs from SRA/McGraw-Hill.

Hungerford Elementary School implemented SRA's Open Court Reading program for Grades Pre-K-5 in 2006. After just one year with the program, the percentage of Grade 5 students scoring at Level 3 (Proficient) or above on the FCAT reading portion jumped 33 percentage points from 34% in 2006 to 67% in 2007. Meanwhile, Grade 4 students also increased from 33% to 44%.

This year, Grade 3 students' reading scores are up from 47% in Level 3 reading to 79% -- representing the highest gains in the district.

Dr. Jenell Bovis, principal of Hungerford Elementary School, said, "Open Court Reading works well for our students because as a Title I school, our students need structure, which the program provides. The phonemic awareness component also is critical as so many of our students did not build the needed background knowledge in early years."

Because teachers love the program and the success that comes with it, Hungerford Elementary School will implement the newest edition of Open Court Reading, called Imagine It! at the start of the 2008-2009 school year.

Meanwhile, by using the new program Imagine It! for the first time this year, Orange Center Elementary School student scores on the FCAT reading portion are up 24 percentage points, with 57% of the students scoring at Level 3 or above.

In addition, Richmond Heights Elementary School also made significant gains with Open Court Reading. The number of Grade 4 students scoring at Level 3 or above on the FCAT reading portion jumped 17 percentage points from 36% in 2007 to 53% in 2008. Grade 5 students also increased by 19 percentage points from 27% last year to 46% this year.

About Orange County Schools

Serving more than 180,000 students in Grades PreK-12, this district's student population is 35% Caucasian, 31% Hispanic, 28% African American, 4% Asian, and 2% multicultural. Forty-seven percent of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. For more information, please visit OCPS.net.

About Imagine It!

Imagine It! is the result of 45 years of research and field study. It contains all the elements recommended by the National Reading Panel: instruction in phonological and phonemic awareness, explicit phonics, fluency, vocabulary, and comprehension. The authors, who are researchers themselves, continue to update the program as new studies are published revealing the latest findings on effective instructional methods.

About SRA/McGraw-Hill

SRA/McGraw-Hill is the top provider of specialized research-based educational programs and professional development for the elementary market. Leading programs include SRA Imagine It! reading program, Direct Instruction, and additional core and supplemental programs. SRA is part of McGraw-Hill Education, a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies . McGraw-Hill Education is a leading global provider of instructional, assessment, and reference solutions that empower professionals and students of all ages. McGraw-Hill Education has offices in 33 countries and publishes in more than 40 languages. Additional information is available at mheducation.com. For more information on SRA/McGraw-Hill's products, call 1-888-SRA-4543 and visit SRAonline.com.

    Media Contacts:    Amy Tillinghast                           Melina Metzger    SRA/McGraw-Hill                           Paul Werth Associates    (614) 750-7285                            (614) 224-8114 Ext. 236    [email protected]           [email protected]  


CONTACT: Amy TillinghastSRA/[email protected] MetzgerPaul Werth Associates+1-614-224-8114, Ext. [email protected]

Web site: http://www.mheducation.com/http://sraonline.com/http://ocps.net/