Texas District Boosts STAAR Reading Scores

In the spring of 2017-2018, Achieve3000 analyzed the performance of students in the Fort Worth Independent School District (FWISD) on the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) and how that performance was impacted by their use of Achieve3000 Literacy.

The solution examined in this study, Achieve3000 Literacy, is powered by a patented methodology that delivers grade-appropriate lessons to the entire class and simultaneously tailors them according to each student’s Lexile® reading level. FWISD serves more than 86,000 students in 143 schools.

STAAR Reading Growth

Accelerating learning with Achieve3000 Literacy

FWISD implemented Achieve3000 Literacy for grades K-12 in the fall of 2016-2017 as part of “100x25,” a citywide reading initiative conducted jointly by FWISD and the city of Fort Worth. The motto of 100X25 is “Ready to Read, Ready to Lead,” and its goal is to get 100 percent of third-graders reading on grade-level by 2025. FWISD asked all schools to include one Achieve3000 Literacy lesson in students’ English language arts and science or social studies classrooms, for a total of two lessons each week.

A perfect tool for English learners

A majority of elementary schools in FWISD use a dual-language instructional model for English learners. These students used Achieve3000 Literacy 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 valuable language scaffolds, such as vocabulary keys and text-to-speech tools, to receive support.

Achieve3000 Literacy usage and impact

Over the course of the 2017-2018 school year, participating students in fourth through eighth grade logged in an average of 80 times, completed 56 lessons with an average first-try score of 70 percent on embedded assessments (see Table 1). While fourth- and fifth-graders tended to complete more lessons than students in grades 6-8, their average first-try scores were similar across all grades (69%-71%).

STAAR Reading Growth

Overall, students demonstrated an average Lexile growth of 105L, which exceeded their average expected growth of 78L. Students who used Achieve3000 Literacy with greater quantity and quality of practice saw greater Lexile gains. Specifically, students who completed 80 or more lessons and had an average score of ≥75% on the embedded assessment achieved gains of 217L on average, which was more than three times their expected growth of 66L.

STAAR Reading Growth

STAAR Reading

Students enrolled in grades 3-8 in the FWISD participate in the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) program, which contains a number of academic assessments, includes a yearly reading assessment (TEA, 2018a).

Students who take the STAAR are given a raw score, equivalent to the number of questions answered correctly. These are then converted to scale scores that can be interpreted across different sets of test questions, allowing for direct comparisons of student performance between specific sets of test questions from different tests.

STAAR Reading Performance

Students who used Achieve3000 Literacy improved by an average of 67 scale score points on the STAAR Reading test from spring 2017 to spring 2018. Students who used Achieve3000 Literacy with greater fidelity saw larger gains. Those who completed 80 or more lessons and maintained an average first-try score of 75% or above on the embedded assessment achieved the largest increase of 90 scale score points.

The percent of students passing the STAAR Reading (i.e. Approaching, Meeting, or Mastering Standards) increased from 61 percent in 2017 to 68 percent in 2018. Notably, 94 percent of students with high quantity and quality of practice (MC 40-79 and 75%+ scores) passed the STAAR READING assessment in 2018. Overall, there was a strong and positive statistical correlation between students’ end-of-year Lexile measures and their spring 2018 STAAR Reading scores.

STAAR Reading Growth

Study Methodology

This report relies on internal usage and Lexile data as well as STAAR READING data from spring 2017 and spring 2018 for students in fourth through eighth grades. To examine the impact of usage of PRO on Lexile growth, a sample of 23,078 students who met the following inclusion criteria was identified:

  • Had valid pre-test and end-of-year Lexile measures during the 2017-2018 school year
  • Completed at least 10 assessments embedded within Achieve3000’s lessons
  • Had at least 60 days between the date of their most recent Lexile measure and their pre-test

Conclusion

FWISD’s mission is “Preparing all students for success in college, career, and community leadership.

This dovetails nicely with Achieve3000’s mission, which is “Giving every student the opportunity to reach their full potential through differentiated instruction and accelerated literacy growth.” Together, we were able to deliver on both those goals by helping students in grades 4-8 accelerate their literacy growth and improve their performance on the STAAR Reading.