Struggling Readers Get Second Chance With System 44, Proven Phonics Instruction


Scholastic develops comprehensive technology to address deepest reading gaps, teams with Dr. Marilyn Adams, premiere expert on early reading and phonics


New York, NY — January 21, 2009 — Scholastic Education, the leading educational publisher of reading intervention programs for struggling students, today announced the launch of System 44™, a foundational reading program for older struggling readers in Grades 3-12. System 44 helps students who never mastered basic phonics and decoding skills in the primary grades to learn the 44 sounds and 26 letters of the English language and get back on track as readers and learners. The program was developed by Scholastic with the help of a team of the country's leading experts in education—led by Dr. Marilyn Adams, America's premiere authority on phonics instruction, who wrote the scope and sequence of the program.

System 44, the most comprehensive technology program of its kind, provides systematic, research-based phonics instruction through state-of-the-art software that delivers direct personalized instruction to older students who struggle with foundational reading skills like phonics. The program’s adaptive software presents phonics in a unique way, specifically designed for older students who are able to grasp complex systems even as they struggle with reading. Presenting the language as a clear, finite system made up of 44 sounds and 26 letters, System 44 provides direct instruction and intensive, adaptive practice beginning with letter-sound correspondence and progressing through fluent word recognition.

Students also work on identifying high-utility sight words and practice syllable strategies, word analysis and fluency and comprehension. After completing System 44, students will have the basic reading skill necessary to begin a higher level reading intervention and acceleration program, like Scholastic READ 180®, which offers intensive intervention for students in grades 4 through 12 who are reading at least two years below proficient level.

"When a student is in the 3rd, 7th or even 10th grade and continues to struggle with reading basics, schools don't have time to waste. They need to provide intensive, engaging instruction that targets kids where they are and gets them to where they need to be—quickly," said Margery Mayer, President, Scholastic Education. "System 44 brings together everything we’ve learned about adaptive technology with the body of knowledge accumulated by Dr. Marilyn Adams about best practices in phonics instruction, and we are proud to provide teachers with the tools they need to motivate students, accelerate learning and get all kids reading on grade level."

System 44 includes the new Scholastic Phonics Inventory (SPI), a unique, technology-based assessment—the first of its kind—to help identify students who lack basic phonics skills. The SPI uses real and nonsense words to determine the precise point at which students should enter System 44 instruction. Unlike traditional phonics assessment tools, SPI is administered via computer, allowing simultaneous assessment of multiple students to ensure that students get the reading help they need as soon as possible.

Developed by Scholastic in consultation with the country's leading experts in phonics, adaptive technology, cognition and learning, assessment, and English Language development, System 44 provides educators with a comprehensive set of tools to help even the most challenged students become successful readers and learners. In addition to Dr. Adams, author of the landmark book, Beginning to Read: Thinking and Learning about Print, the authorial team for System 44 includes: Dr. Ted Hasselbring, Professor of Special Education Technology, Vanderbilt University and lead author of READ 180; Dr. Richard Wagner, Professor of Psychology and Associate Director of the Florida Center for Reading Research, Florida State University; Dr. Margarita Calderon, Professor, Johns Hopkins University; and Dr. David Rose, Founding Director and Chief Scientist of the Center for Applied Special Technology.

About Scholastic
Scholastic Corporation (NASDAQ: SCHL) is the world's largest publisher and distributor of children's books and a leader in educational technology and children’s media. Scholastic creates quality educational and entertaining materials and products for use in school and at home, including children's books, magazines, technology-based products, teacher materials, television programming, film, videos and toys. The Company distributes its products and services through a variety of channels, including proprietary school-based book clubs and school-based book fairs, retail stores, schools, libraries, television networks and the Company’s Internet Site,

Click here to learn more about System 44.

Sarah Trabucchi