CHICAGO, March 14, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- LEAP Innovations, a national nonprofit that works with educators to discover, pilot, and scale personalized learning practices, today released findings from their second cohort of pilot schools in Chicago Public Schools. Students in the cohort using a reading product gained 13 additional percentile points above the comparison group on the national NWEA literacy test.
This new report examines 14 Chicago schools participating in LEAP's Pilot network program, which brings together schools looking to design and implement personalized learning models. Over the course of eighteen months, LEAP's team of experts helps schools redesign their classroom model, implement the LEAP Learning Framework for Personalized Learning, select and implement high-quality technology to support, and test the impact. This study is based on the Pilot Network's second cohort, which piloted during the 2015-16 school year.
"Since we first partnered three years ago, LEAP has impacted more than 2,000 of our students," said Juan Gutierrez, Principal of Patrick Henry Elementary School, which participated in the second cohort of the Pilot Network and other LEAP programs. "When you enter Patrick Henry Elementary School, you see educators fully immersing themselves into new practices that are learner led and students excited about being part of their learning experience."
Students in the cohort using a reading product gained an average of 2.94 test-score points on the NWEA test over the comparison group. The comparison group was created using data from other district and charter Chicago Public Schools from the same time period, and the analysis controlled for student characteristics such as grade, gender, race, free/reduced price lunch status, special education status, English language learner status, and prior test score. LEAP measured changes in students' scores on NWEA Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessments taken before and after the model was implemented.
Putting these results another way, a typical student using a reading product in the Pilot Network would gain 13 additional percentile points above a typical comparison student starting with the same score (i.e., 50th percentile to the 63rd percentile). These gains more than double the growth LEAP saw during the first cohort, where the typical Pilot Network student advanced 6 percentile points above a typical comparison group peer.
"LEAP's research addresses a critical need to build evidence around products that can support personalized learning," said John Pane, Senior Scientist at RAND Education and a member of LEAP's Research Advisory Board. "While there is still much work to do, these early findings show promise for LEAP's thoughtful approach to curation, implementation support, and evaluation."
"Good teaching has always tailored learning to the student. The Pilot Network is helping schools modernize and scale personalized learning practices, sparking excitement and deeper engagement among our learners," said Phyllis Lockett, founder and CEO of LEAP Innovations. "These results demonstrate the potential of personalized learning, when schools have the resources, support, and tools to bring those practices to life."
One of the products piloted by schools was Lexia Reading Core5, an adaptive literacy tool that provides students with personalized learning paths through six key areas, including comprehension, phonics, and vocabulary. The use of Lexia resulted in a 2.57-point increase in NWEA reading scores—the equivalent of gaining 11 additional percentile points above a typical comparison student starting with the same score.
LEAP also launched its first math program pilot during Cohort 2. These results were more mixed, showing no significant difference between Pilot Network students and the comparison group. To better understand these results and inform future pilots, LEAP is now looking more closely into the individual classroom implementations and how these results varied within and across schools. This year's math data will also serve as the foundation for future, multi-year reports.
More than ninety schools in Chicago have participated in the LEAP Innovations Pilot Network since its launch. Researchers are now analyzing results from Cohort 3, coupled with data from previous Pilot Network cohorts, to understand what practices and products have the greatest impact on student achievement.
To learn more about the Pilot Network, visit http://www.leapinnovations.org/leap-pilot-network.
SOURCE LEAP Innovations