Working at Rutgers-Newark's Center for Molecular and Biological Neuroscience, she has brought a neuroscientist's perspective to the concept of learning, convinced that developing brains are much more plastic than has been generally believed by educators. Independent tests at Stanford University have demonstrated that developmental skills in language and reading can be dramatically improved through the intensive use of these six- to eight-week programs involving computer-based suites of exercises.
And educators have responded.
Currently, public school districts in areas ranging from Juneau, Alaska, to Palm Beach, from St. Louis to Connecticut, and from Milwaukee to New York City are all employing Fast ForWord software as a daily 50- or 90-minute part of their curriculum. There are various Fast ForWord products that address language and reading from pre-school though high school. Additional studies in the PALS program (Program in American Language Studies) at Rutgers are currently underway to assess the potential of using Fast ForWord with adults engaged in learning English as a second language.
Perhaps the most impressive success story has been in Philadelphia, the seventh-largest school district in the United States, with more than 214,000 students in 276 schools. The Fast ForWord line of products has been licensed for use in 235 schools there. A recent study of Fast ForWord conducted by Philadelphia school officials showed students who used the program made significantly greater reading gains than those who had not.
"This study supports our decision to expand the use of Fast ForWord," says Paul Vallas, CEO of the
School District of Philadelphia, "a
Contact: Michael Sutton
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey