California District Renews Fast ForWord Contract

Published October 1, 2001

After reading teacher observations and reviewing student scores on state and district reading and math tests, school officials in Fontana, California, decided to renew the Unified School District’s site license for the Fast ForWord┬« family of language and reading programs from Scientific Learning.

The programs will be implemented district-wide and involve as many as 38,000 students in grades K-12 at 36 schools. The student population in the district is over 60 percent economically disadvantaged, and nearly one-third of the students are English language learners.

Lori Rhodes, Fontana’s director of elementary education, said the district had set up a test of Fast ForWord with a few hundred second- through fifth-grade students who had previously scored in the bottom 20 percent on the reading test. The results from this group were compared with a control group of students matched by grade, gender, and previous test scores.

“Significant improvements were made by the students who received the Fast ForWord training on the District Language Arts Assessment,” said Rhodes. “While there were no differences between the two groups prior to the training, after training, on average, the group that trained on the Fast ForWord program had higher reading and math scores.”

Rhodes noted test scores in the district traditionally had been very low. She said a number of different interventions had been tried previously, but they were unsuccessful.

For more information . . .

Further information about Fast ForWord and other neuroscience-based products from Scientific Learning is available from the company’s Web site at

Information about the Fontana Unified School District is available from Lori Rhodes at 909/357-500 ext. 7100.