Digital Promise, Learning Ovations, University of California – Irvine, and MDRC have been awarded a U.S. Department of Education five-year Education Innovation and Research (EIR) expansion grant to improve literacy outcomes using the proven-effective A2i Professional Support System. The United2Read project partners will bring Learning Ovation’s “A2i” technology professional support system to students and teachers nationwide with the goal of improving literacy skills and closing the achievement gap.
Children who fail to achieve proficient literacy skills face serious academic and life challenges. They are more likely to be retained a grade, to underachieve in mathematics and science, to drop out of high school, to be referred to special education, become teen parents, and to enter the juvenile criminal justice system. Yet only 36 percent of children in the United States learn to read proficiently by 4th grade. Reading proficiency drops to under 20 percent for high-needs students.
The goal of the United2Read project is to improve early literacy skills and close the achievement gap. With support from the U.S. Department of Education, Digital Promise, Learning Ovations, MDRC and University of California – Irvine are working together to help over 100,000 students in more than 300 schools achieve third grade reading proficiency.
The centerpiece of the United2Read project is Learning Ovations’ A2i Professional Support System. A2i leverages and integrates districts’ existing assessments and curriculum to help teachers take the guesswork out of differentiating reading instruction for each child.
A2i has strong evidence of efficacy based on results of randomized controlled trials conducted in 30 schools and more than 190 classrooms. These studies have demonstrated that over 90 percent of students whose teachers use A2i are reading at or above grade level by the end of third grade, with an average fifth grade reading level.
In addition, United2Read will engage the community to support achievement across all learning environments including at home, after school, and summer learning.