Research and Efficacy

Research on Unfinished Learning

School Readiness for Young Students Post-Pandemic

Recent national research on student learning post-pandemic offers insight into the academic readiness of Grades K–2 students, compared to pre-pandemic cohorts, based on the fall administration of the i–Ready Diagnostic.

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Recent Research

Annual Report: State of Student Learning in 2023

The latest research on the state of student learning in 2023 describes reading and mathematics achievement based on the results of the i-Ready Diagnostic assessment administered to more than 11 million students in Grades K–8 in the United States.

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Keys to Unlocking Success

This report shows six promising leadership practices recommended by district and school leaders from more than 300 schools that exceeded expectations during the 2020–2021 school year.

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Annual Report: The State of Student Learning in 2022

This research analyzes reading and mathematics data gathered from nearly two million students and provides new insights on student learning trends. Report released September 2022.

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The Relationship between Early Literacy Domains and Grade-Level Reading

This research study provides evidence that foundational reading domains are strongly associated with overall reading skills in upper-elementary grades. Report released January 2023.

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i-Ready Stretch Growth® as a Path Toward Proficiency

This research report provides validity evidence for i-Ready's Stretch Growth targets as a growth goal that is ambitious, is attainable, and puts Grades K–8 students on a path toward proficiency. Report released November 2022.

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Student Growth during COVID-19: Grade-Level Readiness Matters

This research report compares student growth in mathematics and reading during the pandemic to student growth in pre-COVID-19 years. The research found that all students in the COVID-19 cohort showed less growth when compared to pre-COVID-19 control students in both reading and mathematics, and that student grade-level readiness impacted the rate of growth. Report released February 2022.

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Revisiting the Digital Divide: Digital Learning during the Pandemic

This research report shows the various trends in students’ online instruction before and during the COVID-19 2020–2021 school year and sheds light on the access and usage of one prominent digital instruction platform. The report examines how the pandemic, combined with pre-existing inequities, disproportionately impacted the usage for students from historically marginalized populations. Report released January 2022.

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The Impact of COVID-19 on Student Academic Growth in 2020–2021

This research report shows that, overall, students had slower rates of growth during the COVID-19 2020–2021 school year compared with pre-COVID-19 school years. Notably, students who were lower performing before the pandemic had slower rates of growth, whereas students who were higher performing before the pandemic had little, if any, change in rate of growth by the end of the school year. Impacts varied by student demographics, neighborhood poverty, and school locale.  Report released December 2021.

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Understanding Student Learning: Insights from Fall 2021

This research brief describes student learning in fall 2021. Unfinished learning persists, yet there are small upticks in early elementary reading and more widespread progress in mathematics compared to fall 2020. Report released November 2021.

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Factors Related to Testing Location during the 2020–2021 School Year

This research report provides a detailed overview of student testing location during the 2020–2021 school year, insight into the variables that were associated with testing in school, and highlights of how students from historically marginalized populations were more likely to test away from school during the pandemic. Report released October 2021.

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Academic Achievement at the End of the 2020–2021 School Year: Insights after More Than a Year of Disrupted Teaching and Learning

This research brief describes student learning at the end of the 2021 school year. The research found that the pandemic had an outsized impact on students who were in elementary school, attending schools that serve mostly Black and Latino students, and attending schools in lower-income zip codes. Report released June 2021.

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What We’ve Learned about Unfinished Learning: Insights from Midyear Diagnostic Assessments

This research brief discusses findings from winter i-Ready data in the 2020–2021 school year compared to previous years and sheds light on the severity of unfinished learning. Report released March 2021.

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Understanding Student Needs: Early Results from Fall Assessments

This research report provides an in-depth look at results from fall i-Ready Assessment taken in school in fall 2020. While more students started the school year below grade level, the differences were not as dire as many predicted. Report released October 2020.

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National Data Quantifies Impact of COVID Learning Loss; Raises Questions about At-Home Testing

After analyzing the differences between remote and in-school testing, we found that students testing remotely tended to perform better than students testing in school, raising important questions about remote testing. Report released October 2020. 

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Overcoming the Digital Divide: Distance-Learning Successes during the Pandemic

Our findings show that despite being hardest hit by the pandemic, schools in low-income zip codes serving primarily students of color were able to keep students connected to learning and, in some cases, growing in spite of the challenges inherent with distance learning. Report released September 2020.

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One Hundred Leaders’ View on the Back to School Challenge

This report discusses findings from conversations with more than 100 district leaders about the challenges they faced after school closures as they planned for the 2020–2021 school year, including expected challenges, reasons to be hopeful, and the tools that were believed to be most important for success. Report released June 2020.

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A Window into the Digital Divide

Early distance-learning data reveals persistent equity gaps and low-income students’ appetite for digital learning opportunities. Report released May 2020.

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