Lexia Learning and the Florida Center for Reading Research Announce Partnership to Transform Literacy Assessment in America

Collin Earnst
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Education-Technology Leader Lexia Enters the Nearly $700M Formative Assessment Market with Groundbreaking New Solution

BOSTON — March 27, 2014 — Lexia Learning, a Rosetta Stone® (NYSE:RST) company, today announced a long-term strategic partnership with researchers from the Florida Center for Reading Research (FCRR) focusing on research and innovation in the area of language and literacy assessment. In 2014, Lexia and FCRR will launch a computer-adaptive, K–12 assessment that will quickly and accurately identify student needs, and provide teachers the instructional strategies necessary to address individual student skill gaps.

"Lexia’s new solution will become a game-changer by using technology to dramatically reduce the time required to administer a high-quality assessment and by seamlessly connecting data to instruction in a practical and actionable way," said Lexia President Nick Gaehde.

The announcement comes amidst ongoing backlash against the amount of time students in America spend taking assessments. A recent Lexia® survey of more than 7,000 educators showed that teachers spend the equivalent of 17 instructional days administering, scoring, recording and analyzing reading assessments. Through collaborative research and development with FCRR, Lexia will provide a more time-efficient assessment to help teachers reclaim almost a month of instructional time for teaching, not testing.  

Regarded as a leader in curriculum-based K–12 reading instruction and assessment, Lexia developed the industry’s first norm-referenced, embedded assessment, providing predictions of future student outcomes and prescriptions of instructional intensity for each student. The partnership between Lexia and FCRR is a powerful combination of two of the most renowned innovators in education.

"FCRR’s esteemed group of researchers and practitioners has a long history of academic research and development, and has set the standard in the industry. We’re delighted to be their partners in this critical effort to improve teacher effectiveness and student success," said Gaehde.

"Backed by federal grants from the Institute of Educational Sciences (IES) to Florida State University, the new assessments provide precise and efficient estimates of students’ language and reading abilities in grades prekindergarten through 12," said Dr. Barbara Foorman, author and principal investigator on the grants. Co-authors Dr. Yaacov Petscher and Dr. Chris Schatschneider of FCRR also point out that "the technology-based assessment will provide an adaptive experience that requires students to respond to fewer test items in order to reach a highly valid and reliable ability score for each student. As a result, the assessment process will become more time-efficient and keep students engaged at the proper level of challenge."

Schools will use the new Lexia assessment three times per year—in the fall, winter, and spring—with progress monitoring on reading skills available for monthly use. The solution can be used as a universal screener, which will predict to grade-level cut points on norm-referenced reading achievement tests. The Lexia assessment will also provide students with listening or reading comprehension passages and diagnostic tasks that give accurate profiles of their strengths and weaknesses.

By automatically and instantly providing data analysis—including recommended instructional strategies to address each student’s individual skill gaps—the assessment breaks new ground in terms of efficiency and effectiveness. The assessment will provide immediate access to each student’s scores, which are predictive of students’ ability to meet state standards. Importantly, beginning in 2016, the Lexia assessment will predict to outcomes on the Common Core State Standards as measured by the PARCC and Smarter Balance assessments. Following a limited pilot implementation in fall of 2014, the assessment will be available for state- and district-level implementation in the fall of 2015.

"For 30 years, Lexia has been an innovator in technology-based reading instruction," added Gaehde, "and the development of our new assessment furthers our mission by reducing the amount of time spent on testing, while improving teachers’ ability to use data effectively to benefit students."

About the Florida Center for Reading Research
The Florida Center for Reading Research is a multidisciplinary research center at Florida State University that was established in 2002 by the Governor's office and Legislature. Currently, FCRR is home to nine tenured and tenure-track faculty members holding joint appointments with the College of Arts & Sciences or College of Education. The center supports 17 federal research contracts and grants with a staff of over 550 including post-doctoral fellows, senior research associates, graduate research assistants and undergraduate students. For more information, visit www.fcrr.org.

About Lexia Learning
Established with a promise to improve student literacy through the use of technology, today more than one million students are currently improving their reading proficiency with Lexia Reading® software. A Rosetta Stone (NYSE:RST) company, Lexia’s programs have been nationally recognized and proven effective in six peer-reviewed, research-based outcome studies published in scientific journals such as The Journal of Reading Research and the Bilingual Research Journal. For more information, visit www.lexialearning.com or call 1-800-435-3942.

About Rosetta Stone
Rosetta Stone Inc. (NYSE: RST) is dedicated to changing the way the world learns. The company's innovative technology-driven language and reading solutions are used by thousands of schools, businesses, government organizations and millions of individuals around the world. Founded in 1992, Rosetta Stone pioneered the use of interactive software to accelerate language learning. Today the company offers courses in 30 languages, from the most commonly spoken (such as English, Spanish and Mandarin) to the less prominent (including Swahili, Swedish and Tagalog). Since 2013, Rosetta Stone has expanded beyond language and deeper into education-technology with its acquisitions of Livemocha, Lexia Learning, Vivity Labs, and Tell Me More. Rosetta Stone is based in Arlington, VA, and has offices around the world. For more information, visit www.rosettastone.com/education.