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

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

IXL Learning Acquires Emmersion, Developer of AI-Powered Language Assessments

SAN MATEO, Calif. and LEHI, Utah  — IXL Learning, developer of personalized learning products used by millions of people worldwide, announced it has acquired Emmersion, the Utah-based leader in certifying language ability through artificial intelligence. Emmersion’s platform has conducted millions of automated assessments for corporate and educational institutions, including The World Bank, Randstad, Columbia University, Brown University and the University of Pennsylvania, providing valuable data insights into language proficiency scores. 

The acquisition of Emmersion deepens IXL Learning’s line of language and literacy products, which include the world-renowned Rosetta Stone, IXL English Language Arts, Vocabulary.com, SpanishDict, inglés.com and Fluencia. Emmersion’s cofounders, Brigham Tomco and Dr. Jacob Burdis, will remain with the company. 

Accurately establish language skills with AI…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

FEV Tutor Students Achieve Higher Growth Scores in ELA and Math on NWEA MAP Growth, STAR, and i-Ready Assessments

BOSTON, Mass. – Aug. 18, 2022 Fifty-six percent of U.S. public schools are using high-dosage tutoring to support learning recovery, thanks to funding from the American Rescue Plan. But is it working? New research from FEV Tutor shows that live 1:1 tutoring with a subject matter expert can help students progress and close achievement gaps.

During the 2021-22 school year, students who participated in recommended dosages of tutoring with FEV Tutor, a comprehensive, research-based, virtual tutoring solution for K-12 schools, achieved higher growth relative to non-participants in English language arts (ELA) and math on the NWEA MAP Growth, Renaissance STAR 360, and i-Ready assessments.

The growth and impact analysis, which was conducted by independent researchers from JoinIn Ventures, examined fall 2021 and spring 2022 assessment results for nearly 40,000 students from more than 20 states. The data showed that students who participated in 21 or more online tutoring sessions with FEV Tutor showed greater improvements in ELA and math relative to their peers. The results also showed that the students who were the furthest behind benefitted the most.…Read More

Star Assessments Now Connect to Nearpod to Accelerate Student Growth

Bloomington, MN (August 17, 2022)Renaissance, a global leader in pre-K–12 education technology, is pleased to introduce a powerful new connection between its industry-leading Star Assessments and Nearpod platforms to accelerate learning in the 2022–2023 school year. This is just one of the many exciting new product features that schools and districts can access for Back to School. Renaissance has also curated fun, engaging, and helpful resources for its products to help ensure a strong start for both educators and students as they are together again in the new school year.

To better connect assessment, instruction, and practice, Star Assessments users now have one-click access to Nearpod’s lesson library and learning resources within the Star platform. This streamlines the lesson-planning process and helps educators to more easily differentiate instruction for individual students, small groups, and entire classes in both literacy and mathematics. Educators who are using Nearpod Math have access to additional content and tools within Star to support students’ math achievement.

In addition, Renaissance is thrilled to introduce two foundational literacy assessments for the new year:…Read More

3 ways to highlight productive urgency while avoiding teacher burnout

When I came to Union Hill School about seven years ago, we were not performing at the level we wanted to in terms of state assessments. With some hard work and a sense of urgency, we made a lot of progress in those first few years, but then the pandemic struck.

I told my teachers at the beginning, “We’re back at square one,” and today we can still feel the lost ground due to the last couple years. With a renewed sense of urgency, however, we’ve managed to keep our students on track and growing amid the disruptions and setbacks.

Here’s how we create a sense of productive urgency without burning our teachers out.…Read More

How to ensure digital equity in online testing

The SAT will be moving online for students in the United States beginning in 2024. The State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) exam will be taken entirely online next year. Many other states already have fully online tests—and in response to the pandemic, graduate entrance and career certification exams have shifted online as well.

But as more high-stakes exams transition to an all-digital format, experts warn that students who are not as digitally literate as their peers could be placed at a disadvantage. As the trend toward wholly online testing continues, education leaders must consider how to ensure digital equity for the students taking these exams.

A study published in 2019 by Ben Backes and James Cowan from the nonprofit, nonpartisan American Institutes for Research found that students who took the Massachusetts state exam online performed worse, on average, than students of similar abilities who took the same test on paper. The difference was less dramatic for second-time test-takers, suggesting that familiarity with the digital format played a key role in the discrepancy.…Read More

Jefferson County Public Schools Raises Math and Reading NWEA MAP Growth Scores with FEV Tutor

WOBURN, Mass. – June 23, 2022 – Students in Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) who participated in online tutoring sessions with FEV Tutor, the most comprehensive virtual tutoring solution in K-12, demonstrated accelerated rates of growth relative to national norms in both math and reading on the NWEA MAP Growth Assessments. Students who participated in higher dosages of FEV Tutor showed the greatest gains, surpassing national RIT growth norms as well as the growth of non-participants and students who completed less than the recommended dosage of tutoring.

In JCPS, an urban Kentucky school district that provides a high-quality education for 96,000 students, RIT Score Growth was analyzed from winter to spring during the 2021-22 school year. Students who participated in the recommended dosages of tutoring with FEV Tutor demonstrated 32% accelerated growth in both math and reading relative to national norms.

JCPS launched its partnership with FEV Tutor in December 2020 to connect students with tutoring help when they need it. To date, FEV Tutor has delivered more than 60,000 hours of live one-to-one instruction to 7,000 students in 116 schools in JCPS. The online tutoring sessions are available to students in grades 3-12 and focus on the core subjects of math, English, science, and social studies. Tutors are available from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays, and students can schedule lessons or opt for 24/7 tutoring with on-demand sessions. The service can also be accessed on weekends.…Read More

Edsby Introduces ‘Perspective Analyze’ to Help Teachers Make Evidence-Based Instructional Decisions

ANDOVER, MASS (June 2, 2022) –  Edsby®, the award-winning social learning environment designed for K–12 education, today introduced  Perspective Analyze, helping teachers make informed decisions based on multi-dimensional assessment data. The new tool offers teachers visibility into several types of student assessments, integrating both learning evidence and gradebook scores within one place in the Edsby platform.

Edsby’s new Analyze view enables teachers to visualize student performance through a new lens to spot trends, patterns and areas of concern—helping teachers act on instructional decisions for individual students or groups of students. This new extension within Edsby classes gives teachers broader access to classroom-level analytics at no additional cost.

“I’m excited about this new feature as it will help teachers visualize data in new and powerful ways,” said Joe McRae, Math and Computer Science Program Area Leader at Lakefield College School. “It will help me assess students against course learning goals throughout the year and identify opportunities where students can improve. I look forward to building my assessments with this in mind next year.”…Read More