Study Finds Lexia PowerUp Literacy Up to 5X More Effective Than Average Reading Intervention Program

New Study Finds Lexia PowerUp Literacy is Up to 5X More Effective than Average Middle School Reading Intervention Program

We are thrilled to announce that our new Lexia® PowerUp® Literacy study meets ESSA’s standards for Tier 1 Strong Evidence, the highest level of efficacy evidence outlined by federal law. According to the 2019 NAEP Report Card, approximately two out of three students complete middle school without being able to read proficiently. However, the results of this recent study evaluating the PowerUp adaptive blended learning program, our intervention for non-proficient and struggling readers in grades 6–12, showed that PowerUp was up to five times more effective at promoting reading gains than the average middle school reading intervention.

Developed to address the decades-long gap in reading proficiency across the nation, Lexia PowerUp Literacy is designed to enhance core English language arts instruction for struggling readers in grades 6–12. Blending personalized online student-driven instruction with offline teacher-delivered lessons and activities, the program accelerates the development of both fundamental literacy skills and higher-order thinking skills through adaptive learning paths.

About the study

According to Lexia’s Chief Learning Officer, Dr. Liz Brooke, “This is the first randomized controlled study completed for PowerUp, meeting the strongest level of evidence requirements under ESSA. This well-designed study adds to our growing body of research supporting PowerUp as an effective evidence-based intervention.” The study took place at a suburban, Title 1 district just outside Detroit, Michigan with an enrollment of about 5,000 students in grades K-12. The sample included 155 students in grades 6–8 who were enrolled in Tier 2 supplemental reading classes.

One hundred and five students were randomly assigned to a treatment group that used PowerUp in supplemental reading classes from January 2019 through the end of the school year. On average, they used the online component of PowerUp for 55 minutes per week for 17 weeks. Fifty students were assigned to a control group that used the classes’ usual intervention curriculum throughout the year. After comparing pre- and post-treatment scores, the researchers found students who used PowerUp outperformed the control group on both the STAR Reading™ (STAR) computer-adaptive assessment in grades 6-8, and Michigan’s end-of-year state assessment, M-STEP, in sixth grade.

“I would definitely recommend PowerUp as an intervention. I have worked as a school turnaround administrator for 10 years, and the results from this pilot were better than the results from other interventions I have been associated with in that period of time,” said Dave Rice, assistant superintendent at Roseville Community Schools, where the study took place. “Educators realize there is no magic product that creates significant growth for students who may need intervention. But PowerUp is easy for students to use and understand, and allows teachers to quickly identify essential skills that students may be lacking in, and makes resources available to address those gaps.”

While fall scores on STAR for the two groups were similar, PowerUp students scored about 40 points higher (equivalent to approximately 10 percentile points) than the usual curriculum students on the spring assessment. Similarly, the sixth-grade PowerUp group scored on average more than 20 percentile points higher than the control group on M-STEP. The data showed PowerUp had an equal impact on students of all backgrounds, yielding similar results for special education and general education students as well as for white students and students of color. Ultimately, researchers found PowerUp’s impact on standardized test scores was up to five times greater than the average reading intervention in the United States, based on metrics reported in a U.S. Department of Education review.

“Although the treatment group used PowerUp for only half the school year, these students demonstrated significantly higher scores on multiple assessments than control students using the traditional curriculum,” said Brooke. “We believe that the effects we saw will only increase when students are able to engage with PowerUp over a full school year.”


Experience the same success in your school or district

 Lexia PowerUp Literacy helps educators like you simultaneously address gaps in fundamental literacy skills while helping students build the higher-order skills they need to comprehend, analyze, evaluate, and compare increasingly complex literary and informational texts. Most importantly, PowerUp empowers secondary teachers—regardless of their background or expertise in reading—to deliver the exact instruction each student needs to become a proficient reader. With PowerUp, you will be able to address the instructional needs of a wide range of reader profiles, engage, challenge, and motivate students to take ownership of their learning, and help students develop the skills they need to succeed in content-area classes. To learn more about Lexia PowerUp Literacy or to schedule a full demo, talk to a Lexia literacy expert today.

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Featured White Paper:

Strategies to Support Struggling & Non-Proficient Adolescent Readers: How to Identify and Address Why They Struggle

Proficiency in reading impacts all subjects across the secondary curriculum. Read the white paper by Dr. Suzanne Carreker, Lexia's Principal Educational Content Lead​, to learn about the causes of non-proficient reading as well as possible solutions for helping adolescent students in grades 6 and above learn to read well and find reward in reading.

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