MindPlay Virtual Reading Coach® and RAPS® 360 accurately predict students’ performance in reading at the beginning of the year and promote improvement in time for assessments

Tucson, AZ, Aug. 27, 2014 – Two award-winning web-based reading programs from literacy publisher MindPlay help K-12 school administrators predict now which students will pass the reading portion of Common Core State Assessments. This information enables them to act immediately to promote improvement as needed by spring testing. Schools can use either the Common Core State Standards-aligned MindPlay Virtual Reading Coach® (MVRC) or RAPS® 360 to test their students’ reading performance immediately. In a recent district predictability study in Texas using RAPS and MVRC, the programs were up to 92% accurate in predicting students’ performance on the assessments. The programs were found similarly accurate in predicting student performance on state assessments through studies in other states as well.

When administrators have this information early, they can intervene to promote student improvement in reading in time for the state assessments and check students’ progress as they go. Once they know which students are “Critical” and at risk of not passing, they can have their school assign their own intervention or use MindPlay’s MVRC to help those students improve their reading skills. Based on years of research and successful case studies, MindPlay guarantees student progress when using MVRC with fidelity. MindPlay guarantee that 90% of students will gain one or more grade-levels in reading or they can receive their money back. Fidelity is defined as using the program four days a week for 30 minutes each day for a full school year.

The validity of RAPS 360 and MVRC as predictors of student performance on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) was put to the test independently by a South Texas school district over the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years. District and school administrators considering the acquisition of MVRC and RAPS360 wanted to analyze the ability of the products to both promote improvements in STAAR performance and to predict performance on the STAAR assessment.

The district’s analysis found that the RAPS360 diagnostic test embedded in MVRC is able to predict whether or not a student meets or fails to meet STAAR grade-level benchmarks. Among the 234 students whose test results were available for both years of the study, 92.9% of those who were classified as “Critical” by RAPS 360 also failed to meet STAAR grade-level benchmarks. Likewise, 81.1% of those who were classified as “Meets” by RAPS 360 also met STAAR grade-level benchmarks.

The school district also found a statistically significant positive correlation between number of minutes that students used MVRC and positive change in meeting or exceeding annual growth targets. Of the students who used the MVRC product for 30 hours or more as recommended by MindPlay, 65% experienced a positive improvement in reading moving from “Does Not Meet” to “Meets” or from “Meets” to “Exceeds” between the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 school years.

“MindPlay provides school administrators with an easy way to identify students who are not likely to pass their state reading assessment at the beginning of the year,” said Judith Bliss, President at MindPlay. “It only takes 15 minutes to test a whole class at once to gain to such valuable information! Multiple usability studies in several states have shown that student scores on our diagnostic reading test in both RAPS 360 and MVRC are an average of 89% accurate in predicting students’ meets or fails to meet scores on state assessments.”

RAPS 360
MindPlay’s RAPS 360, a Reading Analysis and Prescription System, is a diagnostic reading assessment program that automatically tests and diagnoses basic reading skills and weaknesses for a single student, a classroom, the entire school or school district population. It measures student reading behaviors using eight diagnostic tests. The tests include: Comprehension Screening Assessment, Phoneme Segmentation, Word Meaning and Recognition Assessment, Phonics-Decoding/Encoding Assessment, Eye Tracking Assessment, Natural Fluency Assessment, Expected Fluency Screening, and the Pause-Assisted Fluency Assessment (Reading Connected Text Assessment). These assessments are grouped into three test sets that provide either detailed diagnostics or a quick progress check. Depending on the test set and student performance, students may take as few as one or as many as six assessment and diagnostic tests.

RAPS 360 is adaptive and automated based on student performance. Students simply follow the testing sequence as it is presented while the system adjusts and responds based on their answers. The program develops student prescriptions for improvement and generates automatic reports for individuals, classes, schools and districts. The RAPS 360 program is both sold alone for schools that only want the assessment or who have their own reading intervention, or is included within MVRC, for schools that want a complete reading solution.

While MVRC is great for a preventive action or intervention, it can help all students improve their reading. MVRC automates for teachers the process of assessing reading skills and differentiating instruction. It provides students with direct instruction that targets their specific and unique barriers to build accuracy and achieve fluent reading. The research-based program, which won a BESSIE Award this year, applies expert teaching methods. Students receive feedback targeted to help them understand and fix each error.

All stories within the Web-based MVRC are assigned Lexile® ratings by MetaMetrics®. MindPlay’s Lexile text complexity ratings are consistent with Common Core State Standards. MVRC helps students improve their reading skills measurably in 40 hours or less by differentiating instruction for each student. Using explicit and direct instruction by reading specialists and speech pathologists, students work at their own pace. The program helps all students improve their reading, and is endorsed by CASE for students with special needs, and is appropriate for dyslexic, struggling readers, and intermediate to advanced English language learners. MVRC provides instruction in six essential reading components: Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, Vocabulary, Grammar for Meaning, Comprehension, and Fluency.

Assessment and progress monitoring are embedded into MVRC. The program collects and records all data into a central reporting system in real time. Teachers can see what students are doing instantly as it happens from the report pages. The program provides reports at district, school, classroom, and student levels. Student data can be exported to a .CSV file, which can be imported into Excel. Teachers and administrators can customize and export the reports they need to evaluate student progress.

Pricing and Availability
MVRC and RAPS 360 are available online now. For information and ordering, schools and districts can visit MindPlay at www.mindplay.com, or education resellers. The programs are available from any computer with Internet access. Volume pricing is available for schools to purchase MVRC or RAPS 360.

MindPlay, Inc.
More than 30 years ago, Founder Judith Bliss started the MindPlay Company to create a solution to overcome the challenges of learning to read. Her goal was to help struggling learners succeed in school and life, after overcoming her own reading disabilities. MindPlay’s mission is to develop, publish, and distribute cost-effective learning tools that support individual growth and skill development. The curriculum includes clear objectives, inviting graphics and modern technological innovations. MindPlay educational software programs appeal to multiple learning styles, identify individual student needs and differentiate instruction. For more information, please go to www.mindplay.com.
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About the Author:

Abi Mandelbaum

Abi Mandelbaum is CEO of YouVisit.