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i-Ready: Does it Really Help?

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Do we really need i-Ready?  Most students say no, as you would expect they would. I mean, who wants more homework? Regardless of whether you like it or not, we all need to use this reading and math program because it is a district mandated program.

The program i-ready is said to improve your test scores… but does it?  According to “i-Ready diagnostic test position paper,”     i-Ready has a strong correlation to getting higher scores. In 2013, the NY State Assessments, one of the first common-core based summative assessment, the correlations ranged from .77-.85 across grades and subjects. Along with that, i-Ready successfully predicted proficiency on this assessment for 85% of students. The 7th and 8th grade students who used this program scored the highest out of all grades, in language arts, above 80% and in math, above 90%.

Something we learn in math is actually that correlation does not equal causation.  In mathematical terms, correlation is when two sets of data are strongly linked together, we say they have a High Correlation. Causation is the action of causing something. Causation is often confused with correlation, which indicates the extent to which two variables tend to increase or decrease in parallel. However, correlation by itself does not imply causation.

In a poll we took, we asked the students if there was research stating i-Ready improves test score if they would be more likely to do the lessons. We also asked whether or not they think i-Ready is improving their scores. Only 9  out of the 33 students said they found i-Ready improving their scores, the rest said their scores apparently were not improved. Nine students said that if there was evidence saying i-Ready improved their test scores, they would be more likely to do it. Everyone else said they would not do it.  What does it take to convince the students?

Who is i-Ready targeting? The i-Ready program is no longer a program we use in high school, so why all of the middle school students?    A lot of students take advanced courses, yet we have to do i-Ready. We asked the same group of students in the poll if they think i-Ready should have more guidelines for determining who needs to use i-Ready. For example, should students who score above FSA level 4 in math or reading have to do i-Ready? The majority of students said there should be more guidelines as to which students take i-Ready. Ms. Piedra, one of our math teachers, even said “I think eventually i-Ready should stop once a student masters eighth grade concepts.”

I personally would like i-Ready a lot more if it specified what I had to work on. Yes, it already does that in the diagnostic, but it should be more refined. For the past 2 years, I have been doing the same lessons over again after I supposedly passed them. It’s monotonous and repetitive if you ask me. But hey, as Ms. Collier, one of our language arts teachers stated, “Students can always benefit from consistent practice… As they say, practice makes perfect.”

As stated earlier, we all have to do i-Ready regardless of whether or not we ‘like it’ because it is a district mandated program. We still love hearing your opinions! What do you think? Do we really need i-Ready?

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i-Ready: Does it Really Help?