Evidence for i‑Ready’s Efficacy

in Reading and Mathematics DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORT

i-Ready’s Impact on Students’ Reading and Mathematics Achievement

i-Ready is backed by the most practical and applicable efficacy research in education. i-Ready Personalized Instruction—the system of personalized lessons designed to fill students’ knowledge gaps and help every student reach grade-level proficiency—has been studied by numerous third-party and independent organizations, as well as Curriculum Associates’ own Research team, in partnership with educators throughout the country. A summary of i-Ready efficacy studies, including independent and third-party research, is below. Read the research detail.

Key Findings

Research Meeting the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Level 2 (Moderate) Evidence Requirements

Many rigorous research studies meeting ESSA Level 2 (Moderate) evidence standards demonstrated positive and statistically significant gains for students receiving i-Ready Personalized Instruction above that of their control group counterparts in both reading and mathematics on internal and external outcome measures.

Studies Demonstrating Improvement on State Tests

Several independent studies (i.e., those conducted without guidance or funding by Curriculum Associates) found that i-Ready Personalized Instruction students outperformed their peers, making positive and statistically significant gains on state test measures such as the Florida Standards Assessments (FSA), Smarter Balanced Assessments (SBA), and Utah’s Student Assessment of Growth and Excellence (SAGE).

Evidence of efficacy with special populations of students:

Multiple small- and large-scale studies, including those conducted by independent and third-party researchers, have shown that i-Ready has a positive impact in both reading and mathematics on students who are striving learners, ELs, students with disabilities, and students with socioeconomic disadvantages as well as disaggregated results for students who are Black and Latino.


Summary of Research Studies on i-Ready

The summary table features studies on the programs created by Curriculum Associates that include i-Ready Personalized Instruction.

i-Ready Personalized Instruction (“i-Ready”) can be used on its own or as part of Ready Mathematics Blended Core Curriculum (“Ready Mathematics Blended Core,” which includes i‑Ready and the Ready Mathematics Core system of books and/or online tools), or Ready Blended Supplemental, which includes i-Ready with Ready Reading or Ready Mathematics books and/or online tools.

Summary of i-Ready Efficacy Research

i-Ready Instruction Efficacy Research table header. Chart showing the impact of i-Ready during the 2020-2021 school year. Chart showing the impact of i-Ready on student achievement. Chart showing the impact of i-Ready on Lesson Pass Rates. Chart showing the impact of i-Ready Personalized Instruction using 2018-2019 data. Chart showing the impact of i-Ready using 2018-2019 data. Chart showing the impact of i-Ready for striving learners using 2018-2019 data. Chart showing the impact of i-Ready for Reading at Grades K-2. Chart showing how i-Ready improves Math instruction for Grade 7. Chart depicting the results of a Utah STEM Action Center Multiyear Studies. Chart depicting the results of Utah's Early Intervention Reading Software Program Report. Chart showing the impact for Special Needs Students when i-Ready is implemented. Chart depicting the results of a comparative analysis of Mathematics programs. Ready Mathematics Blended Core table header. Chart depicting results of an impact evaluation of Math programs for Elementary Grades. Ready Blended Supplemental table header. Results of an impact evaluation of Supplemental Blended Implementation for Math at Grades 6-8. Results of an impact evaluation of Supplemental Blended Implementation for Reading at Grades K-2.

*Specific student groups include students with disabilities, students who were ELs, and students who were economically disadvantaged. **Reported for students with disabilities only. †Study includes characteristics for meeting ESSA Level 2 (Moderate) evidence. However, because the authors did not specify which ESSA evidence level the study meets in the report, nor has it been reviewed by an independent clearinghouse such as the What Works Clearinghouse, educators should review the full research report in order to determine if it meets their own interpretations for ESSA evidence. ††Third-party studies are defined as those that were conducted by external research organizations that were contracted by Curriculum Associates to independently perform the research to industry-recognized standards. Studies by independent authors (without ††) were conducted and funded entirely independently of Curriculum Associates.


i-Ready Research Study Summaries

1. The Impact of i-Ready Personalized Instruction during the 2020–2021 School Year: Evidence to Support Historically Marginalized Student Groups

  • Author(s): Curriculum Associates, 2022
  • Evaluation School Year: 2020–2021
  • Product: i-Ready
  • Grade(s): K–5
  • ESSA Level: 3 (Promising)

Curriculum Associates analyzed data from students in Grades K–5 who took the i-Ready Diagnostic during the 2020–2021 school year. This study also examined differences among historically marginalized student groups, including students of color, economically disadvantaged students, English learners, and students with disabilities. In both reading and mathematics and across all grade levels, students using i-Ready with fidelity (i.e., a minimum of 30–49 minutes per week for at least 18 weeks) and received an overall Lesson Quiz pass rate of 70% scored significantly higher on the spring i-Ready Diagnostic than their counterparts who did not use i-Ready with fidelity. The results of this study suggest i-Ready can be an effective intervention for historically marginalized student groups.

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2. The Impact of i-Ready Personalized Instruction on Students’ Reading and Mathematics Achievement

  • Author(s): Curriculum Associates, 2020
  • Evaluation School Year: 2017–2018
  • Product: i-Ready
  • Grade(s): K–8
  • ESSA Level: 3 (Promising)

Curriculum Associates analyzed data from more than one million students who took the i-Ready Diagnostic in the 2017–2018 school year. In both reading and mathematics, students who used i-Ready for an average of 45 minutes or more per subject per week for at least 18 weeks experienced greater learning gains compared to students who did not, when controlling for prior achievement. This study also examined differences among student groups. Students with disabilities, ELs, and students with socioeconomic disadvantages who used i-Ready all saw greater growth than students from the same demographic groups who did not have access to the program. The significance of the findings and the rigorous study design provide support for i-Ready as a program that meets criteria for ESSA Level 3.

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3. Impact of i-Ready Personalized Instruction Time and Lesson Pass Rates on Student Learning Gains

  • Author(s): Curriculum Associates, 2021
  • Evaluation School Year: 2017–2018
  • Product: i-Ready
  • Grade(s): K–8

This study, conducted by Curriculum Associates, examined fall to spring score gains on the i-Ready Diagnostic for groups of students with differing levels of exposure to i-Ready and differing Lesson Quiz pass rates. Students who used i-Ready as recommended—for an average of 30–49 minutes of i-Ready per week who passed at least 70% of their Lesson Quizzes—made greater gains than students who did not use i-Ready as recommended—for an average of less than 30 minutes of i-Ready per week who passed less than 70% of their Lesson Quizzes. The difference was positive and statistically significant for all Grades K–8 in reading and mathematics. This study provides evidence that students in Grades K–8 who use i-Ready as recommended make greater improvements in reading and mathematics than students who do not use i-Ready as recommended.

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4. Using i-Ready Personalized Instruction with Fidelity: Results from the 2018—2019 School Year

  • Author(s): Curriculum Associates, 2022
  • Evaluation School Year: 2018–2019
  • Product: i-Ready
  • Grade(s): K–8

This study examined students’ fall-to-spring score gains on the i-Ready Diagnostic based on how often they used i-Ready and their Lesson Quiz pass rates. This study provides evidence that students in Grades K—8 who use i-Ready as recommended make greater improvements in reading and mathematics than students who do not use i-Ready as recommended.

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5. An Impact Evaluation of i-Ready Instruction Using 2018–2019 Data

  • Author(s): HumRRO and Century Analytics
  • Evaluation School Year: 2018–2019
  • Product: i-Ready
  • Grade(s): K–8
  • ESSA Level: 2 (Moderate)

The Human Resources Research Organization (HumRRO) and Century Analytics, two third-party research firms, partnered together in order to examine the impact of i-Ready during the 2018–2019 school year. Using a quasi-experimental design with propensity score matching designed to meet ESSA Level 2 criteria, HumRRO and Century Analytics examined the impact of i-Ready on the reading and mathematics achievement of students in Grades K–8. Using hierarchical linear modeling, HumRRO found that students in all grades and subjects using i-Ready experienced statistically significantly higher spring scores than students not using i-Ready. In addition, the study authors found that these positive results generally held for students who are Black and Latino, ELs, students with disabilities, and students with socioeconomic disadvantages.


6. An Impact Evaluation of i-Ready Instruction for Striving Learners Using 2018–2019 Data

  • Author(s): HumRRO
  • Evaluation School Year: 2018–2019
  • Product: i-Ready
  • Grade(s): 2–5
  • ESSA Level: 2 (Moderate)

HumRRO conducted this study that evaluated the impact of i-Ready on striving learners’ reading and mathematics achievement during the 2018–2019 school year, including results disaggregated by students performing below the 20th percentile and students who are Black and Latino. The study used a quasi-experimental design that meets ESSA Level 2 requirements, and defined striving students as those students who performed at least Two Grade Levels Below their chronological grade on the fall Diagnostic. The researchers found that striving students who used i-Ready made statistically significantly stronger improvements in reading and mathematics compared to students in the control group who did not use i-Ready. These results indicate that i-Ready is an effective instruction for students who start the year with unfinished learning and may be used as part of an academic intervention program for striving learners.

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7. An Impact Evaluation of i-Ready Diagnostic and Instruction Implementation for Reading at Grades K–2: Final Report

  • Author(s): HumRRO
  • Evaluation School Year: 2016–2017
  • Product: i-Ready
  • Grade(s): K–2
  • ESSA Level: 2 (Moderate)

Utilizing a quasi-experimental study designed to meet ESSA Level 2 criteria, HumRRO examined the effect of i-Ready for Reading for early elementary students in Grades K–2 during the 2016–2017 school year. Analyses using propensity score matching and hierarchical linear modeling found that schoolwide implementation of i-Ready for Reading in Grades K–2 resulted in increased student achievement compared to schools using only the i-Ready Diagnostic.


8. i-Ready in 7th Grade Math Classes: A Mixed Methods Case Study

  • Author(s): WestEd and iHub
  • Evaluation School Year: 2017–2018
  • Product: i-Ready
  • Grade(s): 7
  • ESSA Level: 2 (Moderate)†

Conducted by WestEd in partnership with the Silicon Valley Education Foundation’s STEM Innovation Hub (iHub) team and supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, this independently funded quasi-experimental study that meets ESSA Level 2 criteria found that Grade 7 students who spent a minimum of 45 minutes a week or more on i-Ready for Mathematics during the 2017–2018 school year demonstrated a significant improvement in their scores on the SBA over students who did not. Specifically, utilizing data from more than 1,700 students, WestEd found that students using i-Ready for more than 45 minutes tended to score 24 points higher than similar students who used i-Ready for less than 45 minutes. Students with 45 minutes or more in i-Ready also experienced greater growth toward the next achievement level on the SBA.

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9. Utah STEM Action Center Multiyear Studies

  • Author(s): Utah STEM Action Center
  • Evaluation School Years: 2014–2015 through 2018–2019
  • Product: i-Ready
  • Grade(s): K–8
  • ESSA Levels: 2 (Moderate)† and 3 (Promising)

The Utah STEM Action Center conducted a multiyear evaluation of multiple providers of online instructional technology for mathematics for the K–12 Mathematics Personalized Learning Software Grant Pilot Program, including i-Ready. For school years 2014–2015 through 2018–2019, the Utah STEM Action Center published annual reports regarding the implementation and effectiveness of these technologies. (Note that the study design varied by evaluation school year.) Using multiple methodologies, such as linear and logistic regression, these reports showed that i-Ready was consistently one of the top mathematics solutions among the vendors evaluated. The most recent evaluation with student-level Student Assessment of Growth and Excellence (SAGE) outcomes available from spring 2018 found that the use of i-Ready was associated with increased likelihood of proficiency on the SAGE test, and students who used i-Ready with greater frequency demonstrated higher student-growth percentiles than students who used i-Ready with lower frequency. We will update this summary with the SAGE results from the 2018–2019 study once available.

DOWNLOAD THE FULL REPORTS: 2014–2015 | 2015–2016 | 2016–2017 | 2017–2018 | 2018–2019


10. Utah’s Early Intervention Reading Software Program Report

  • Author(s): Evaluation and Training Institute
  • Evaluation School Year: 2018–2019
  • Product: i-Ready
  • Grade(s): K–3
  • ESSA Level: 2 (Moderate)†

On behalf of the Utah State Board of Education, the Evaluation and Training Institute conducted an evaluation on Utah’s Early Intervention Software Program (EISP) for Reading during the 2018–2019 school year. The EISP was implemented in 88 local education agencies that had the option of selecting one of four adaptive, computerbased literacy software programs—including i-Ready for Reading—for use with all students in Grades K–1 and struggling readers in Grades 2–3. The evaluators found that i-Ready had a positive and statistically significant impact on literacy achievement (as measured by the Acadience Reading composite scores) for students in Grades K, 1, and 3. Of the four vendors, i-Ready had some of the largest effect sizes (i.e., effect size = .33 for Grade K, effect size = .32 for Grade 1, and effect size = .25 for Grade 3). This study meets ESSA Level 2 criteria.

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11. What Is the Impact on Growth in Language Arts and Mathematics Skills for Special Needs Students when the i-Ready Program Is Implemented?

  • Author(s): Forsman
  • Evaluation School Year: 2016–2017
  • Product: i-Ready
  • Grade(s): 6–8
  • ESSA Level: 3 (Promising)

This dissertation examined the use of i-Ready as an effective intervention strategy for students with disabilities in reading and mathematics during the 2016–2017 school year. Sixty-six students were identified as students with disabilities in the following categories: Emotionally Disabled, Intellectual Disability, Multiple Disabilities, Language/Speech Impaired, Specific Learning Disabled in one or all subjects, Autism, and Other Health Impaired. Using multiple independent sample t-tests and the i-Ready Diagnostic as the outcome measure, these analyses found that students in inclusion classrooms (in which students with and without disabilities learn together) scored statistically significantly higher in the spring than the fall in reading and mathematics. Resource students (i.e., students with disabilities who received specialized instruction outside of the general education classroom) also experienced statistically significantly greater scores in the spring compared to the fall in reading. This study meets ESSA Level 3 criteria.

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12. A Causal Comparative Analysis of a Computer Adaptive Mathematics Program Using Multilevel Propensity Score Matching

  • Author(s): Seabolt
  • Evaluation School Year: 2016–2017
  • Product: i-Ready
  • Grade(s): 5
  • ESSA Level: 2 (Moderate)†

This dissertation examined the effectiveness of i-Ready for Mathematics for Grade 5 students in a school district in central Florida during the 2016–2017 school year. Leveraging multilevel propensity score matching, students using i-Ready with fidelity (i.e., a minimum of 45 minutes per week for at least 25 weeks) were matched to students who did not use i-Ready with fidelity. Impact analyses conducted with multilevel models demonstrated that students using i-Ready with fidelity experienced greater mathematics score gains on the FSA compared to those who did not use i-Ready with fidelity. This study meets ESSA Level 2 criteria.

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13. An Impact Evaluation of the Blended Core Mathematics Program for Elementary Grades

  • Author(s): HumRRO
  • Evaluation School Year: 2017–2018
  • Product: Ready Mathematics Blended Core (includes i-Ready)
  • Grade(s): K–5
  • ESSA Level: 2 (Moderate)

HumRRO conducted a study using data from the 2017–2018 school year of more than 21,000 students to understand the impact of the Ready Mathematics Blended Core Curriculum (i-Ready Diagnostic, i-Ready, and Ready Mathematics used as core instruction) on mathematics achievement for students in Grades K–5. The quasi-experimental study, leveraging hierarchical linear modeling and propensity score matching, meets ESSA Level 2 criteria. HumRRO’s findings support that participation in Ready Mathematics Blended Core Curriculum resulted in higher student-level achievement in mathematics, as measured by the i-Ready Diagnostic, compared to a control group of students using only the i-Ready Diagnostic. For students with comparable starting points, the mean mathematics achievement for the Ready Mathematics Blended Core Curriculum group was statistically significantly higher in all Grades K–5. Moreover, the effect sizes provided additional support that students in Ready Mathematics Blended Core Curriculum schools benefited from their school’s adoption and implementation of the Ready Mathematics Blended Core Curriculum.


14. An Impact Evaluation of Supplemental Blended Implementation for Mathematics at Grades 6–8

  • Author(s): HumRRO
  • Evaluation School Year: 2016–2017
  • Product: Ready Mathematics Blended Core (includes i-Ready)
  • Grade(s): 6–8
  • ESSA Level: 2 (Moderate)

HumRRO conducted a quasi-experimental study designed to meet ESSA Level 2 criteria to examine whether the use of the Supplemental Blended Program in Mathematics (i-Ready Diagnostic, i-Ready, and Ready Mathematics used as a supplement to the core instruction) resulted in higher student achievement than use of only the i-Ready Diagnostic. Utilizing propensity score matching and hierarchical linear modeling, HumRRO examined data from the 2016–2017 school year and found that school-level implementation of the Supplemental Blended Program in Mathematics for Grades 6–8 resulted in increased student achievement compared to schools using only the i-Ready Diagnostic.


15. An Impact Evaluation of Supplemental Blended Implementation for Reading at Grades K–2

  • Author(s): HumRRO
  • Evaluation School Year: 2016–2017
  • Product: Ready Blended Supplemental (includes i-Ready)
  • Grade(s): K–2
  • ESSA Level: 2 (Moderate)

HumRRO conducted a quasi-experimental study designed to meet ESSA Level 2 criteria to examine the Supplemental Blended Program in Reading (i-Ready Diagnostic, i-Ready, and Ready Reading used as a supplement to the core instruction) for early elementary students in Grades K–2 during the 2016–2017 school year. Analyses using propensity score matching and hierarchical linear modeling found that school-level implementation of the Supplemental Blended Program in Reading for Grades K–2 resulted in increased student achievement compared to schools using only the i-Ready Diagnostic.

† Study includes characteristics for meeting ESSA Level 2 (Moderate) evidence. However, because the authors did not specify which ESSA evidence level the study meets in the report, nor has it been reviewed by an independent clearinghouse such as the What Works Clearinghouse, educators should review the full research report in order to determine if it meets their own interpretations for ESSA evidence.

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