Headsprout ESSA Strong Evidence One Sheet

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Headsprout Meets ESSA’s Highest Standard: Strong Evidence

What Does Headsprout Provide?

Headsprout is an innovative online reading program that adapts instruction to every student. Headsprout is easy to implement, fun to use, and proven to help students build the foundational reading and comprehension skills needed to become capable and confident readers.

Evidence of Effectiveness for Headsprout

Headsprout demonstrates a statistically significant effect on improving student outcomes or other relevant outcomes, based on at least one well-designed and well-implemented experimental study.

The following studies meet ESSA’s standards for strong evidence:

  • They employed experimental designs that allow establishing a causal connection between the treatment and the learning outcomes.
  • Results show that the treatment had a positive and significant impact on relevant outcomes, and that impact was statistically significant in the applicable experiment.

Evidence Summary: Effects on Early Reading and Oral Language

The randomized control trial by Huffstetter, Onwuegbuzie, Schneider, and Powell-Smith (2010) showed that low-income preschool students who used Headsprout Early Reading for 30 minutes a day for eight weeks had higher posttest scores on the Test of Early Reading Ability 3 (TERA-3) and Test of Language Development-Primary 3 (TOLD-P:3) compared to a control group of similar students. These results were statistically significant with large effect sizes.

Evidence Summary: Effects on Reading Comprehension

The single-subject multiple-baseline study by Cullen, Alber-Morgan, Schnell, and Wheaton (2014) examined the effects of Headsprout Reading Comprehension on the comprehension skills of mid-elementary students with mild but high-incidence disabilities (e.g., ADHD, learning disabilities). Students completed between eight and 15 lessons of the program (out of a total of 50) and showed immediate and significant increases in reading comprehension as measured by both the Ohio Achievement Assessment and AIMSweb Maze.


Cullen, J. M., Alber-Morgan, S. R., Schnell, S. T., & Wheaton, J. E. (2014). Improving reading skills of students with disabilities using Headsprout Comprehension. Remedial and Special Education, 35 (6), 356–365.

Huffstetter, M., King, J. R., Onwuegbuzie, A. J., Schneider, J. J., & Powell-Smith, K. A. (2010). Effects of a computer-based early reading program on the early reading and oral language skills of at-risk preschool children. Journal of Education for Students Placed at Risk, 15, 279–298. 



A Program That Provides the Path to Successful Reading
An Adaptive Online and Mobile Reading Program for Kids


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