Texas District Boosts STAAR Assessment Scores for English Learners
The Fort Worth Independent School District (FWISD) includes 143 schools with more than 86,000 students. Approximately 77 percent of students qualify for free or reduced lunch, and 30 percent are English learners. FWISD began using Achieve3000 Literacy with Boost in the fall of 2016 with grades K-12 as part of the city-wide “100x25” initiative. The initiative aims to support schools in making sure that 100 percent of third-grade students will be reading on grade level by 2025.
FWISD set the expectation for all schools to include one lesson in students’ English language arts and science or social studies classrooms, for a total of two lessons completed each week. A majority of elementary schools in FWISD use a dual-language instructional model for English learners. These students use BOOST to read articles and complete lessons in English and/ or Spanish. Students in middle and high schools do not follow a dual-language program, but English learners still have the option to access language scaffolds, such as vocabulary keys and text-to-speech tools, to receive support.
On average, students who used Achieve3000 Literacy improved by 67 scale score points on the STAAR reading assessment from spring 2017 to spring 2018. Notably, students who completed 80 or more lessons* and who maintained an average first-try score of 75 percent or above on the embedded assessment, demonstrated the largest increase of 90 scale score points. Lessons include an article and an embedded assessment.