CommonLit Unlist Usage of CommonLit's Digital Library is Correlated with Student Growth

Learn all about the benefits of implementing CommonLit’s evidence-based program

CommonLit is on a mission to ensure that all students can graduate with the reading and writing skills they need to succeed in college and/or the career of their choice.

Since the launch of CommonLit’s digital program in 2016, CommonLit’s dedicated team of educators and software designers have designed a program that has become widely beloved by teachers and an essential pillar of many districts’ literacy programs. To date, teachers in over 90,000 American schools have looked to CommonLit to support their students’ literacy development.

Along the way, we’ve also invested heavily in the measurement and evaluation of CommonLit. Today, we’re thrilled to announce that usage of CommonLit’s digital program is highly correlated with significant academic growth amongst elementary, middle, and high school students.

In this blog post, we’ll tell you all about these exciting results and how we can support your team’s work!

The Study & The Results

During the 2021-22 school year, CommonLit marketed its School Essentials PRO  package ($3,850 per year) to schools across the United States. That package includes setup and training support, Professional Development, and access to CommonLit’s Assessment Series. The Assessment Series includes three benchmark assessments that measure students’ reading ability and growth throughout the school year.

As part of this study, CommonLit’s research team captured a student baseline by evaluating student performance on the first benchmark assessment, the Pre-Assessment. Then, the team measured reading growth by looking at results on the third benchmark, the Post-Assessment. The study ultimately included students from over 1,000 schools that purchased the School Essentials PRO package.

The research team explored whether digital use of CommonLit’s literacy program throughout the year correlated with an increase in student reading performance. The results were statistically significant across all age groups.

Let’s start by looking at results in elementary schools:

Graph showing elementary student growth by digital lessons submitted using CommonLit

In education research, the effect of an intervention is often cited to understand how well it worked. This is reported as effect size, and it’s useful because it allows us to simply understand how well an intervention did or did not correlate with student growth. As you would expect, larger positive effects are associated with better learning outcomes for students! On average, most programs in elementary school have an effect size of 0.4. This represents pretty moderate growth.

You can see this average expected growth value shown on the graph above as the gray horizontal line. The teal vertical bars show us what the learning gains were for CommonLit students depending on the number of CommonLit reading lessons they completed. Here, we see that reading growth was heavily accelerated for students who completed more than 6 digital lessons on CommonLit. In fact, reading 6 or more CommonLit lessons correlates with over 1.5 times the average expected growth! This means that of the 4,137 elementary students who completed CommonLit’s Pre- and Post-Assessment, students who completed more lessons on CommonLit demonstrated higher-than-average reading growth than their peers who read fewer lessons.

The results in middle school were similarly impressive:

Graph showing middle school student growth by digital lessons submitted using CommonLit

At the middle school level, the average effect size across several reading intervention programs is 0.23. Meanwhile, students who completed at least 6-10 lessons from CommonLit’s digital library surpassed this threshold with a measured effect size of .30.

The relationship between lessons completed on CommonLit and reading growth was even more significant at the high school level:

Graph showing high school student growth by digital lessons submitted using CommonLit

Among high school students, completing 11 or more CommonLit lessons revealed an effect size of 0.35! This is nearly 2x the impact of the typical high school intervention (0.19).

Across all age groups, the trend is clear; CommonLit is an extremely effective and affordable solution to support student achievement and growth.

Get These Results in Your District

CommonLit’s team is committed to helping every school achieve these same staggering results.

When your school partners with CommonLit by purchasing our CommonLit School Essentials PRO package, there are lots of benefits!

In addition to unlocking our Assessment Series to track student progress, your team will also be assigned a dedicated account manager, who will work closely with you and your team all year to ensure success with our program. Your account manager will facilitate a seamless onboarding experience for your team and provide relevant training throughout the year so that your teachers can successfully leverage CommonLit’s full digital program.

To request a quote for our quote for the School Essentials PRO package, click here.

If you’d prefer to speak to a member of CommonLit’s team, email us at We’re eager to work with your team!