IXL Math Meets Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Tier 1 Requirements in Randomized Control Trial Conducted by Johns Hopkins University


BALTIMORE, Maryland — IXL Learning, developer of personalized learning products used by millions of people globally, has unveiled the findings of a Johns Hopkins University study that affirms  IXL Math’s effectiveness in boosting student achievement. The evaluation of IXL Math’s impact meets the required rigor of Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Tier 1 and What Works Clearinghouse standards for evidence-based interventions. 

The  Center for Research and Reform in Education (CRRE) at Johns Hopkins University conducted an independent, randomized control trial in Spring 2023 at Holland Public Schools in Michigan. The goal of the study was to determine IXL Math’s efficacy on students in grades 3-5. Half of the classrooms were assigned to the treatment group and used IXL Math to supplement instruction, while the remaining students continued learning as usual. 

The  research revealed the following key findings:

  • Students in IXL classrooms surpassed their control group peers: IXL Math students significantly outperformed the control group by an average of 10 points on the Star Math assessment.
  • Underserved students achieved larger gains: Improved math performance was particularly pronounced among Hispanic, Special Education, English Language Learner, and FARMS (Free and Reduced Meal Program) student populations, with gains ranging from 13 to 17 points.
  • A positive correlation between usage and achievement: IXL Math usage was significantly correlated with student performance on the Star Math and M-STEP assessments.
  • Teachers overwhelmingly praised their IXL implementation: Approximately 90% of teachers reported that their implementation of IXL was successful and had a meaningful impact on instruction. The initial professional development provided by IXL was particularly valuable, according to teachers.

“We are proud that this expert-led study clearly confirms IXL’s positive impact on math achievement and places it within ESSA’s highest tier of efficacy,” said Bo Bashkov, Manager of Research at IXL Learning. “A compelling body of evidence from previous studies spanning 70,000 schools throughout the United States shows a remarkable pattern: Schools utilizing IXL consistently outperform those using other solutions. This new report corroborates existing findings and further underscores that IXL empowers students and teachers to achieve greater success.”

Visit our  research page for more information about IXL’s studies.  

How IXL helps students succeed in math

IXL Math is an adaptive program that is proven to help students master essential skills. In fact, studies show that schools using IXL Math consistently outperform others, ranking as much as 15 percentile points higher on state assessments. In addition to helping schools and students succeed academically, IXL can uncover hidden obstacles to learning, increase teacher engagement, develop students’ intrinsic motivation to learn, and more. 

Comprehensive curriculum for deeper learning

With more than 4,900 standards-aligned skills, IXL Math’s K-12 curriculum promotes rigor by helping students develop a conceptual understanding of math, build procedural fluency, and tackle challenging problems that have real-world applications. Each skill is adaptive, adjusting in difficulty to ensure students are perfectly challenged. Based on students’ previous work, IXL generates personalized recommendations in real time that guide learners to skills that will help them make the most progress.  

IXL now also provides a groundbreaking curriculum,  Takeoff by IXL Math™, to deliver core instruction and help teachers differentiate a full year of daily math learning without any prior planning. The Takeoff curriculum equips teachers with everything they need to provide tailored math instruction, including lesson plans, dynamic recommendations for support and enrichment, and ready-made unit assessments. Seamlessly integrated into IXL’s personalized learning platform, these resources give students the support they need and show teachers instant insights into their progress.

Accurately assess knowledge in real time

IXL’s  first-of-its-kind assessment suite, which includes the  Real-Time Diagnostic and  universal screener, works in concert with its math curriculum to give educators real-time insight into performance, pinpoint gaps in knowledge, and provide specific next steps to help each student grow. Additionally, IXL’s comprehensive diagnostic reports allow administrators to easily identify students across their district who are working below grade level and may need additional support.

Support and empower students at every step

Built-in instructional resources, including more than 2,700  video tutorials for Grade 2 through Precalculus skills, support students when they’re working independently and ensure they have the guidance to learn with confidence. 

Provide teachers the insights that they need

IXL Analytics provides teachers with  real-time insights that pinpoint trouble spots and monitor performance, allowing them to respond to student needs more quickly and facilitate meaningful growth. Administrators can use IXL  District Analytics and IXL School Analytics to track student progress and teacher engagement, enabling them to improve IXL’s impact on their school or district.

About IXL

Currently used by 15 million students and in 95 of the top 100 U.S. school districts, IXL is an all-inclusive educational platform that provides a comprehensive PK-12 curriculum and instructional resources, actionable analytics and a state-of-the-art assessment suite. IXL’s end-to-end teaching and learning solution supports personalized instruction in math, English language arts, science, social studies and Spanish. With more than 130 billion questions asked and answered around the world, IXL is helping schools and parents successfully boost student achievement. The IXL Learning  family of products also includes  Rosetta StoneTPTSpanishDictionary.cominglés.comWyzantVocabulary.comABCyaEducation.com and  Emmersion. To learn more about IXL, visit  www.ixl.comfacebook.com/IXL and  twitter.com/IXLLearning.

eSchool Media staff cover education technology in all its aspects–from legislation and litigation, to best practices, to lessons learned and new products. First published in March of 1998 as a monthly print and digital newspaper, eSchool Media provides the news and information necessary to help K-20 decision-makers successfully use technology and innovation to transform schools and colleges and achieve their educational goals.

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