CommonLit Insights Schools & Districts ESSA Tier II Study: CommonLit Use by 7th Grade Students in a Florida District

Seventh grade students who used CommonLit scored higher on the Florida FAST than students who did not use CommonLit

Recent findings from a 2022–23 study of CommonLit meet ESSA Level II (Moderate Evidence) standards given the positive, statistically significant differences between CommonLit users’ and non-users’ end-of-year reading scores. This study of Florida students’ CommonLit digital usage was conducted by LearnPlatform by Instructure, a third-party edtech research company. The study examined whether seventh-grade students who completed CommonLit digital lessons performed better on their end-of-year state standardized English Language Arts (ELA) test than students who did not use CommonLit at all.

Key Finding #1: Seventh grade students with high usage of CommonLit digital lessons had higher FAST scores compared to students who did not use CommonLit.

Using a technique called “cluster analysis,” researchers at LearnPlatform identified three distinct CommonLit digital usage groups: non-users (0 lessons), low users (1-15 lessons), and high users (16-55 lessons). Researchers found that students who completed 16-55 CommonLit digital lessons scored significantly higher on their 2023 FAST ELA test than those who did not use CommonLit.

Figure 1. High users scored significantly higher on the 2023 FAST ELA test than students who did not experience CommonLit. Among the seventh-grade students, 683 were non-users, 622 low users (average of 4 digital lessons), and 221 high users (average of 27 digital lessons). 

Key Finding #2: Completing more CommonLit digital lessons was associated with increased reading scores.

Researchers at LearnPlatform also tested whether completing CommonLit digital lessons was associated with increased reading scores. Even after taking into account students’ 2022 test scores and their demographics, completing more CommonLit digital lessons was significantly associated with increased reading scores. Specifically, the model projected that for every 10 additional CommonLit digital lessons a seventh-grade student completed, their FAST reading scores would have increased by 1.26 percentile points, on average. 

In sum, this recent study by LearnPlatform provides additional evidence of the effectiveness of CommonLit in promoting student ELA achievement. To learn more about the study, see here.

Study Details

The study included 1,526 seventh grade students from eight schools in a mid-sized public school district in Florida during the 2022-2023 school year. The sample included 50% female students; 5% were designated as English Language Learners; 69% received free or reduced lunch, and 31% were designated as special education. The racial composition of the student sample was diverse with 41% White students, 33% Black students, 13% Hispanic or Latinx students, 7% multi-racial students, and 6% Asian students. Of the sample, 55% completed CommonLit digital lessons and 45% did not use CommonLit at all.

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