In pandemic and post-pandemic era education, teachers, school leaders, and parents have been concerned with getting kids back on grade level and closing the achievement gap. In fact, according to the most recent Educator Confidence Report from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 62 percent of teachers say students falling behind is a top concern this school year.
Across the nation, schools and districts have utilized additional funding to hire tutors who can provide additional support to students before, during, and even after school in efforts to help kids learn skills that they need to become proficient.
At Brewbaker Primary School (BPS) in Montgomery, AL, we decided to leverage an AI tutor–Amira by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt–to help our students improve their reading achievement. Amira is a 1:1 virtual reading tutor that uses state of the art AI and voice recognition software. Our Amira implementation efforts have yielded astounding and significant learning outcomes.
When I became the principal of Brewbaker Primary School in July of 2020, the Alabama Literacy Act was already established. This law states that all 3rd graders should be able to read proficiently by the end of 3rd grade or risk failing. Reading proficiency was only 18 percent at BPS in 2019 with no spring 2020 data when I arrived.