Headsprout and Reading Proficiency in School With High ELL Population

Research Applies to: Headsprout

About This Research

This case study examined the school-wide effects of using Headsprout, as measured by the percentage of students who met the proficient standards on the state’s assessment for reading. The school as a whole had a large percentage of students who were not native English speakers. All elementary grades (kindergarten through fifth grade) were represented in the study.

Main Findings

Before using Headsprout, approximately 43% of students were proficient on the state’s reading assessment (the school trailed Milwaukee’s urban schools’ average of 55%). After implementing Headsprout, the percentage of students meeting the proficient or advanced level in the reading assessment grew to 64%.


Participants were 260 students in kindergarten through first grade and 50 students in grades 2–5 from a large Catholic school in an urban district. Most students came from low-income homes and many were English language learners.

Study Design and Procedures

Headsprout implementation took place in the 2005–2006 school year for this case study. Implementation of Headsprout was part of a school-wide reform. During the study, students completed approximately three Headsprout episodes per week.


Learning A-Z (revised 2016, May). St. Anthony’s School, Milwaukee, WI: Headsprout reading programs accelerate student learning. Tucson, AZ: Author.

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