I found a research report online of a study that was performed in Revere, Massachusetts public School District from 2001-2004. The study was performed district wide by the public schools in collaboration with Lexia Learning Systems, a supplemental language arts instruction. The study was to test the effectiveness of Lexia reading software as a supplement to Revere's language arts instruction.
I found this study to be very interesting since it was an experimental study, and in our classroom discussion we kind of concluded that these studies were pretty difficult to perform accurately in a classroom setting. The "key findings" of this study were that Lexia improved reading scores in grades K-3, the lowest performing children benefited the most from using Lexia, and all reported findings were statistically significant.
In order to perform the study for each grade they chose a control group and an experimental (Lexia) group at random. Each child was given a pre-test. After a six month period of time each student was re-tested. The Lexia groups showed a significant amount of improvement more than the control groups who did not use Lexia in their curriculum.
As I read about the study I though it was done very carefully as to not have any biases. I thought it was a great study to perform and now hopefully every student in the Revere School District will be able to benefit from the Lexia reading program.
The research report for this study can be found online at http://www.readingsoftware.com/LexiaUK/upload/research/revere.pdf