Headsprout and Reading Gains in Fourth Graders From Large Urban District

Research Applies to: Headsprout

About This Research

During a short but intensive implementation with students in metropolitan Nashville, this case study examined the effects of Headsprout on reading comprehension. The study collected scores on the state reading assessment across 11 schools that used Headsprout, then compared the scores to those of schools in the same district that did not use Headsprout.

Main Findings

Students at schools that used Headsprout showed on average 7.6 times more growth on the Tennessee Comprehensive Assessment Program (TCAP) Reading/Language assessment compared to students from the remaining schools in the district. The difference was statistically significant.


Participants were more than 1,000 fourth-grade students in 11 high-priority schools in metropolitan Nashville.

Study Design and Procedures

The program was implemented from January through May of 2011. During that time, students completed an average of 3.2 episodes of Headsprout Reading Comprehension each week. The TCAP Reading/Language assessment, which was administered to students at the end of the school year, was used to measure reading gains.


Learning A-Z (revised 2016, May). Case study: Spring 2011 Pilot, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools. Tucson, AZ: Author.

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