READ 180 is a comprehensive blended learning system designed to help struggling readers in grades 4-12+ to raise their reading levels. It is aimed at students who read at least two years below their grade level.
Different research projects have been carried out in upper elementary schools, middle schools and high schools to test READ 180’s effectiveness on students’ reading levels. These studies have taken into consideration multiple grade levels and different student populations. Some studies were also aimed at other types of institutions like community colleges. A study by What Works Clearinghouse in 2009 found that READ 180 had a large impact on general literacy achievement. READ 180 also earned the label of Moderate Evidence of Effectiveness – one of only four programs to get this honor out of over a 100 that were reviewed – in a report by the Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Data-Driven Reform in Education.
A 2011 review by the Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis journal found that READ 180 had a large positive effect on the reading skills of students in grades 4-6, a vast majority of whom were at below proficient levels before using the system. Other studies have also found that READ 180 had a positive effect on reading fluency for even lower performing students in the 4th grade.
Scholastic Inc, the company that developed READ 180 after years of research first undertaken at Vanderbilt University, has also conducted studies that have found READ 180 to be effective for English Language Learners in grades 4-8. Demographic studies have been conducted on particular groups of students such as boys, African Americans, students with disabilities, students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds and even prisoners. Most of them have found that students using READ 180 have shown significant improvement in reading achievement.