ESSA Level of Research: Moderate Evidence (Quasi-Experimental)
Study Island Benchmarks have strong predictive validity for the Pennsylvania state summative test. Using Study Island had statistically significant effects for English language arts and math, resulting in higher test scores and proficiency-level classifications.
This student-level study provides detailed analyses of student usage of and performance in Study Island compared to those students’ performance on the Pennsylvania state-level assessment. The study goes even further by matching students based on their previous state-level assessment for more rigorous comparison, reflecting requirements for ESSA Moderate evidence.
Through a series of descriptive and statistical analyses, which include pseudo-controls through Propensity Score Matching (a process to create quasi control and treatment groups of equivalent ability), the findings in this study suggest there are discernable and statistically significant positive impacts on PSSA scores for students participating in Study Island practice and Benchmarks.
For grades 4 through 7, in both ELA and math, there is a strong, statistically significant relationship between students’ scores on Study Island Benchmarks and their later scores on the PSSA.
Students in 5th, 6th, and 7th grades who used Study Island earned statistically significantly higher state test scores in math and were more likely to achieve a higher proficiency-level classification on the state test.
Students in 5th grade who used Study Island earned statistically significantly higher state test scores in English language arts (ELA) than students who didn’t use Study Island.