Impact on Student Achievement: SBAC

Reading Plus

One of the more ubiquitous and debated aspects of K-12 public education over the last 20 years has been the increased use of student assessments. Although the goal of using multiple measures to help educators improve instruction and increase student achievement is simple in theory, it is less so in practice.

Local and state assessment systems typically include formative, diagnostic, benchmark, and summative assessments that are often in flux as student needs and state and federal requirements change. Each recent reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act–Improving America’s Schools (1994), No Child Left Behind (2001), Every Student Succeeds (2015)– has modified state assessment systems to some degree and consequently required educators and students in most states to adjust to new assessments every few years.

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) assessment is among the latest generation of statewide assessments. When it was first administered in the spring of 2015, it was taken by more than 7 million students. Fifteen states (along with the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Bureau of Indian Education) are currently using the SBAC to meet their statewide testing needs.

Educators in states where the SBAC is used often ask Reading Plus if the SBAC English/Language Arts assessment correlates well with our InSight assessment. And, more importantly, they ask if using Reading Plus with fidelity results in students demonstrating higher levels of achievement on the SBAC. We are very pleased that the answer to both questions is a resounding “yes!”

InSight has a strong, statistically significant correlation with the SBAC, and both assessments have similar expectations for grade-level performance. In other words, a student who scores at or above grade level in overall silent reading proficiency on InSight is likely to meet or exceed the SBAC standard. By administering a 30-minute* InSight benchmark before the SBAC, educators can have a reasonable sense of how their students will perform on the higher-stakes assessment.

In addition, educators who have their students use Reading Plus regularly are more likely to see improvement in their student’s SBAC scores. Readers who struggle the most, and are classified in the lowest SBAC achievement level, are more likely to advance to a higher level if they routinely use Reading Plus. Other Reading Plus students who are somewhat below standard on the SBAC are more likely to advance to meet the standard as compared to their classmates who do not engage in the program. Just as important, students who continue to practice using Reading Plus are less likely to drop to a lower SBAC achievement level as grade-level expectations increase.


To read more about the effectiveness of Reading Plus on student SBAC achievement, we are pleased to offer a free copy of our publication “Reading Plus Impact on Student Achievement “ that addresses SBAC. It includes two research briefs that provide complete, detailed information.

Key Results:

  • Three times larger SBAC ELA scale score gains for Reading Plus students
  • Up to five times more Reading Plus students advancing from not meeting to meeting the SBAC standard than students with minimal to no Reading Plus use
  • A strong, statistically significant correlation between overall SBAC and Reading Plus results (r=.83, p<.001)

*Average InSight completion time. Nearly all students will finish in less than 50 minutes.