Tucson Unified School District believes and achieves, dramatically improving reading skills among ELL population

Tucson believes every student deserves great educational opportunities.

Tucson achieves accelerated Lexile® scores across all grades after only one year.


In the Tucson Unified School District in Arizona, where 61% of the student population speaks Spanish, school officials needed a dual-language reading and writing solution that would work for every learner — regardless of his or her reading ability. The district also wanted to ensure that the needs of other students, not just the non-native English speakers, would be addressed in the same classroom.


District officials believed every student — including English language learners (ELL) — deserved the opportunity to reach higher and be prepared for college and career after graduation. After considerable research, they chose Achieve3000® solutions KidBiz3000®, TeenBiz3000®, and Empower3000™ because of their abilities to meet the special language needs of its Hispanic students. Achieve3000 provided:

  • Automatic differentiation of reading material — As the solutions assess each student's level of reading comprehension, text difficulty was adjusted accordingly — so each child receives a lesson tailored to his or her personal ability
  • Differentiated text in dual languages — Students were able to easily toggle from English to Spanish text (and vice versa) in the same story as reading levels were adjusted
  • Easy parental engagement — Parents, guardians and caregivers who spoke Spanish and/or English were quickly and easily trained to use Achieve3000's Home Edition, allowing them to become an active participant in their child's education

The Achieve3000 solutions were implemented in 12 schools across the district for grades 2-12. The schools also provided training in English and in Spanish for parents, guardians and caregivers in order to increase parental involvement.


The achievements gained by students after just one year of using Achieve3000 solutions were "phenomenal," according to one school official. The greatest improvements came from struggling readers who were two or more levels below their grade. Significant improvements also occurred for 3rd and 7th graders as they exceeded expected Lexile gains. In addition, 7th and 8th grade students averaged gains in reading and vocabulary that were triple the norm.

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