Foundations in Learning Launches Integrated Intervention to Support Struggling Readers

NAEP research shows that two-thirds of U.S. students still lack reading proficiency and at least one-half of these students lack adequate basic word recognition skills.

Foundations in Learning today announced the launch of the Foundations Learning System™, an assessment and intervention solution designed for students from second grade through high school who struggle with reading comprehension and fluency due to poor word recognition skills. The System combines a screener, diagnostic and intervention, along with curriculum guides and detailed reporting, into an integrated solution to change academic outcomes for persistently struggling readers who have been failed by traditional instruction and interventions.

The Foundations Learning System applies the learning framework known as the “Varied Practice Model” to the development of automatic word recognition skills, an essential precursor of fluency and reading comprehension. This enables educators to identify and help students with a lack of foundational reading skills, including persistently struggling readers, students with special needs, English language learners and students who learn differently.

The Foundations Learning System has five components:

  • Online screener—Enables educators to identify whether students have deficits in automatic word recognition skills.
  • Online diagnostic—Identifies gaps in decoding knowledge and measures automaticity of word recognition.
  • Online intervention—Delivers personalized online instruction through 24 structured units organized around the Varied Practice Model, giving students the chance to encounter the materials from multiple perspectives.
  • Curriculum guides—Support teacher-facilitated instruction by providing resources, including poems and passages, curriculum packets, and daily lesson plans.
  • Reports—Teachers and administrators can access reports to track and monitor students’ performance as they progress through the system.

Research scientists Dr. Carolyn Brown and Dr. Jerry Zimmermann, co-founders of Foundations in Learning, have spent more than 30 years studying the needs of struggling readers, and the Foundations Learning System is built on 10 years of research and product development. For the development of the diagnostic, they collaborated with scientists from the University of Iowa; Dr. Deborah Reed, Dr. Bob McMurray, Dr. Eliot Hazeltine and Dr. Keith Apfelbaum. Support was provided by the SBIR program at the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences under contract ED-IES-15-C-0023. Foundations in Learning has also received support from the National Institutes of Health and the state of Iowa to develop and test strategies that work.