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Istation Reading — Elementary

Essa Rating
No. Studies
No. Students
Average Effect Size

Program Description

Istation is based on the science of reading and covers letter knowledge, phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, comprehension, vocabulary, and spelling. Istation Reading Formative Assessments are a computer-based adaptive testing system that provides benchmark and continuous progress monitoring of student performance. Testing occurs in a game-like and engaging environment. Scoring results are obtained and reported to teachers immediately after test completion. Key indicators include:

•    Assessment in critical domains of reading in all tested grades
•    Assessment of skills most predictive of future reading success
•    Assessment of progress in each area relevant to a larger domain
•    Provision of a comprehensive snapshot of reading ability

After the assessment is complete, students are routed into an engaging online curriculum based on their performance on the Istation Reading assessment. A priority report gives teachers information for small groups, and lessons to use with struggling readers. Total usage recommendations are 30-40 minutes per week for students.

Program Outcomes

Istation was evaluated in one large, two-year quasi-experimental (matched) study, involving 1,234 students in grades 2-4. The 617 Istation students came from six schools located in a small-city district in South Carolina. Just over 50% of its students were White, 40% Black, and approximately 70% of the students came from economically disadvantaged families. Istation students in comparison with demographically and academically similar students identified by the Similar Schools Report scored significantly higher on the NWEA MAP, with a mean effect size = +0.06 (p < .05). Performance was higher in schools that implemented with fidelity. The significant results qualify Istation for the ESSA “Moderate” category.

Staffing Requirements

Istation is designed for use in classrooms, and can be implemented by teachers, interventionists, or paraprofessionals.

Professional Development/Training

A variety of professional learning is available to train teachers, instructional coaches, principals, and others. Formats include virtual and in-person training. Professional Development sessions are conducted by qualified professionals with classroom experience.


Students can use Istation on desktops or tablets.