Evaluation of Istation's Early Reading Assessment and Curriculum in Spartanburg County School District 7 Final Report

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Center for Research and Reform in Education
The purpose of this evaluation was to examine the association between ISIP scores and usage and student achievement and growth on ELA standardized test measures, as well as to compare MAP Reading assessment growth of SCSD-7 Istation students in relation to that of otherwise similar students who did not use Istation. This report includes findings from student usage and achievement data on ISIP ER and AR assessments, as well as on the SC READY ELA state assessment and NWEA MAP reading assessment Results showed that Istation students significantly outgained virtual comparison students, with this pattern especially pronounced for the younger cohort of students. SCSD-7 students were matched with virtual comparison students on the basis of prior reading achievement and demographic variables, with a sufficiently large sample size. Thus, this study supports the conclusion that Istation usage is related to larger reading achievement gains, in relation to non-Istation users. Further, the results of this study meet the criteria for meeting WWC Standards with Reservations, as well as those for “Moderate” evidence of the efficacy of Istation in improving student reading performance per the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Student Istation usage remained fairly consistent across each of the four school years analyzed in this report. Students tended to average between 14-17 hours of total usage each year. Usage was reported as two different measures: total usage and curriculum usage. This allowed for analysis of time students spent working on the Istation curriculum, in addition to total Istation time. Curriculum usage was also relatively steady across years, with students averaging about 13-14 hours of curriculum usage each year. Usage statistics declined markedly in the 2019-20 school year; however, this decline is almost certainly attributable to the disruption in the school year caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
early reading assessment, predicting reading scores, ISIP predictive validity
Cook, M. A., & Ross, S. M. (2021). Evaluation of Istation’s Early Reading Assessment and Curriculum in Spartanburg County School District 7. Towson, MD: Center for Research and Reform in Education, Johns Hopkins University.