K-12 staffing shortages threaten reading instruction–AI can help

The challenges facing K-12 leaders as they start the new school year are enormous. For instance, the latest test results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) show that fourth graders’ average reading skills have dropped by five points on a 500-point scale since the start of the pandemic—the biggest decline in more than 30 years.

This isn’t surprising news, as educators know their students are behind where they should be in terms of basic literacy skills. These skills underpin all other skills that students learn in school; if children can’t read well, then their entire education is at risk.

Making up this lost ground while continuing to ensure that students learn grade-level skills is hard enough. But many school systems will be doing this while also facing unprecedented staffing shortages.…Read More

Carnegie Learning Helps TX Districts Use TEA Funds with Hands-on Program

PITTSBURGH, PA – Carnegie Learning, a leader in artificial intelligence for K-12 education and formative assessment, announced a NEW, transformational program to support districts across Texas to optimize the most recent round of Texas Education Agency (TEA) funds to fast-track student success in their schools.

As an approved Strong Foundations Grant provider, Carnegie Learning will collaborate with the primary point of contact and math and/or literacy committee to meet every grant requirement.  

“We understand that teachers and districts are stretched for time and resources, and that’s where our team comes in to help bridge the gap,” said Carnegie Learning CEO Barry Malkin. “Unlike any other education company or curriculum provider, we partner with each district to create individualized plans that meet their unique needs – large or small. Because we know every student deserves that level of support.”…Read More

Learning Without Tears Announces Assessments to Guide Instruction; Expanding Impact of Get Set for School®, a Complete Multisensory, Early Childhood Curriculum

Washington, DC – Learning Without Tears’ acclaimed Early Childhood curriculum, Get Set for School® (GSS), will now include the new Assessments to Guide Instruction, an addition to the complete program that provides greater value and more complete foundational learning. This new assessment tool allows educators to easily assess, track, and remediate student performance over the course of the school year.  With AGI, teachers can easily provide updates and suggestions to families, building strong school-to-home connections, an important element of young learners’ success. 

“We have been experts in successful early childhood education for 40 years,” said Terry Nealon, CEO of Learning Without Tears. “Get Set for School is the culmination of that learning expertise, and is being used by thousands of schools across the country. The addition of Assessments to Guide Instruction expands the impact GSS can have on very young learners. With a clear, individual assessment of what their students need at this early point in their education, teachers can create a lifelong learner and lover of reading, by meeting students where they are.” 

The award-winning Get Set for School complete curriculum is divided into six learning areas that seamlessly create a better academic outcome for pre-K students. Students are taught developmentally, learning the easiest skills first, then building on that knowledge as learning progresses. Multi-sensory activities provide hands-on learning and play-based opportunities for students to learn.   …Read More

New Research from Curriculum Associates: Student Achievement Shows Concerns and Bright Spots in Recovery—More Students Are Behind in Phonics but Some Schools Are Exceeding Expectations

NORTH BILLERICA, Mass. — While more students are falling behind in foundational reading skills, some schools buck the trend with positive practice in the pandemic’s wake, according to new research released by Curriculum Associates today. 

The first report, The State of Student Learning in  2022, analyzes reading and mathematics data gathered from nearly two million Grades 1–8 students during the 2021–2022 school year via the edtech company’s i-Ready Assessment tool. In a second report, Keys to Unlocking Success, Curriculum Associates identified 301 schools across the country at which students are exceeding learning expectations and conducted research to understand how school leaders are ushering their students and schools toward recovery.  

“We’re beginning the third full academic year since the pandemic began, and many school communities are still grappling with the impact of the massive 2020 disruptions,” said Dr. Kristen Huff, vice president of assessment and research at Curriculum Associates. “The question is no longer if or howthe pandemic affected student learning, it is if and how it can recover. It is critical to grow our understanding of what measurable shifts have occurred in student learning as we have more distance from 2020 and more investment in recovery efforts.” …Read More

South Carolina Adds Classworks® Universal Screener to State-approved Literacy Screener List

Duluth, GA – Classworks Universal Screener for Reading, an NCII-validated formal assessment used to measure grade-level readiness, is approved by South Carolina as a high-quality Literacy Screener. The best-in-class academic screener is on the  approved list for the 2022-23 school year.

In 2019, South Carolina implemented Act 213, requiring all districts to implement Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS). When implemented effectively, an MTSS framework addresses the whole child, including students’ academic, behavioral, and social-emotional needs. To support school districts in choosing high-quality resources to support MTSS, the state provided a list of approved screeners. 

“Classworks is a perfect fit for the South Carolina Literacy List list due to the validity and reliability of our widely-adopted screening assessment,” notes Melissa Sinunu, Classworks President and Chief Operating Officer. “As an all-in-one MTSS solution, we share South Carolina’s vision to address the needs of the whole child. We look forward to working closely with South Carolina districts to achieve that goal using Classworks. Our platform makes it simple for teachers and effective for students.”…Read More

With Rising Concerns About Dyslexia in Young Learners, Riverside Insights Introduces First-of-its Kind Playbook to Streamline Evaluations

ITASCA, Ill. – Riverside Insights®, a leading developer of research-based assessments and analytics, today debuted a new Assessment Playbook focused on streamlining the evaluation of dyslexia, the most common learning disability, affecting 20% of the population. The new playbook makes assessments more effective and efficient by providing a recommended process for selective testing and a specific test list for querying the most salient features of dyslexia.

“The pandemic disrupted teaching and learning, and has led to a dramatic increase in the number of students who are referred for dyslexia evaluations by their teachers and/or parents. Consequently, evaluators must determine if a student’s reading difficulties are primarily a reflection of this disruption or an indication of a true reading disability,” said dyslexia expert Dr. Nancy Mather, a professor in the  College of Education, Department of Disability and Psychoeducational Studies at the University of Arizona. “To address this issue and the increase in assessment referrals, evaluators need effective and efficient assessment tools to ensure that all students are accurately identified and get the help they need. In this way, children can be provided with systematic interventions prior to experiencing chronic reading difficulties.”

In the 2021-2022 school year, more than 20 states including California, Florida, Texas and Connecticut updated their dyslexia legislation, passing new codes and statutes to support more effective identification and intervention practices to address the increasing dyslexia referrals.…Read More

8 questions for educators as they use assessments to support student learning

For assessments to be used effectively in schools, it’s important for districts and schools to consider what assessments are intended for and how the data gained from the assessments will be applied to support student learning. Building and maintaining a balanced assessment system is essential for schools, but the process can be complicated. 

Asking these eight questions can help school district leaders who want to make sure they’re using and administering formative, interim, and summative assessments at the right times and in effective ways. Considering these key questions can help districts build assessment systems that better support student learning and improved outcomes.

1. What is the purpose of this assessment?…Read More

Carnegie Learning Middle School Math Solution Receives Perfect Scores from EdReports.org

PITTSBURGH, PA – Carnegie Learning, a leader in artificial intelligence for K-12 education and formative assessment, today announced that its blended core Middle School Math Solution received perfect scores in a new report published by EdReports.org. The High School Math Solution also received all-green scores, with just one point shy of perfect. 

EdReports.org is an independent nonprofit that evaluates instructional materials for quality and standards alignment. It is a gold-standard leader in helping teachers and administrators identify the highest-quality instructional materials. The Carnegie Learning Middle and High School Math Solutions met EdReports’ expectations in all three gateways: 

  • Focus & Coherence—Are the instructional materials focused on the right content at each grade level, and is it presented in a coherent way? 
  • Rigor & Mathematical Practices—Do the materials have the right mix of conceptual understanding, procedural skills, and applications to address the standards to their full depth? Do they help teachers build productive habits of mind in their students? 
  • Usability—Do the materials have the right support in place for teachers to use them effectively? 

The EdReports.org review process is rigorous, and many other curriculum solutions do not pass the first and second gateways and are therefore not evaluated for the third. Schools and districts can therefore choose the Carnegie Learning Math Solution with confidence, knowing it has met the highest quality standards in addition to proving effective through third-party efficacy research. (Learn more at http://www.carnegielearning.com/research.) …Read More

Curriculum Associates Updates i-Ready Personalized Instruction and Assessment to Help Accelerate Student Learning for the 2022–2023 School Year

NORTH BILLERICA, Mass. —To help accelerate teaching and learning this coming school year, Curriculum Associates has updated its award-winning i-Ready Personalized Instruction and Assessment program with new reports, lessons, accessibility features, and more. These new resources are designed specifically to help educators support grade-level work, monitor progress, and motivate every learner on their path to success.

i-Ready continues to be a standout in the edtech space, in part, because it is always improving to meet the changing needs of educators and students alike,” said Rob Waldron, CEO of Curriculum Associates. “This coming year, accelerated learning will be a focus for schools nationwide and these new updates will provide educators with the timely resources and data-driven supports needed to help students make continued gains.”

To help inform school- and district-level administrators’ planning, i-Ready now features a new dashboard that displays real-time data of student growth and performance in a single view. Additionally, administrators now have more robust data with expanded 5-Level Placement reporting, a new Overall Reading Comprehension score on Diagnostic reports, and improved export data.…Read More

Kentucky Department of Education Approves Curriculum Associates’ i-Ready® Assessment for Grades K–3 as a Universal Screener for Early Literacy

NORTH BILLERICA, Mass.—The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) recently named Curriculum Associates’ i-Ready Assessment for Reading as an approved universal screener for early literacy. Now, districts across the state can use data from the online program as part of a multi-tiered system of supports for students in Grades K–3 as outlined by the state’s Read to Succeed Act. Today, i-Ready serves more than 11 million students and approximately one-third of all students in Grades K–8 in the United States, including more than 80,000 students across Kentucky.

“Early screening is the first step to helping young learners on their path to reading success,” said Rob Waldron, CEO of Curriculum Associates. “The data from our i-Ready Assessment will help Kentucky educators understand where students are in their reading and develop a reading improvement plan, if needed, to help students meet reading goals.”

As part of the Read to Succeed Act, all superintendents in the state must select at least one universal reading screener to administer to all students in Grades K–3 by January 1, 2023. Superintendents can choose from the approved list of screeners, all of which underwent a rigorous review by the KDE. KDE’s approval process, which is guided by the National Center on Intensive Intervention at American Institutes for Research’s Screening Tools Chart Rating System and the Institute for Education Sciences, examined measures for classification accuracy, reliability, validity, and representative sample.…Read More