Gains in Reading Skills for Students Using Newsela

Research Shows Gains in Reading Skills for Students Using Newsela in Summer Programs

May 20, 2022

Below-grade learners demonstrated measurable gains in vocabulary and comprehension and Newsela was 70% more effective than average summer learning programs

New York, NY - Newsela released the findings from two multi-faceted research initiatives that revealed the efficacy of Newsela to support literacy development and reading skills, with pronounced improvements for Hispanic students. Newsela's Learning Team, staffed by PhD-trained researchers conducted the evaluative research. 

During a 3-week summer learning program, at-risk students demonstrated measurable gains in vocabulary and comprehension. With another 3-4 weeks of instruction from experienced teachers, students would have met Newsela national average performance levels and closed the gap in terms of comprehension performance.

In a separate study, Newsela was found to be nearly 70% more effective at promoting reading skill maintenance and growth compared to the average summer reading program. Results were especially pronounced for Hispanic students and for students with high summer program attendance.

“Over the next few months, it’s critical for schools to engage students with meaningful and rigorous lessons that align to outcomes,” said Dan Cogan-Drew, Newsela’s Chief Academic Officer. “This research proves that Newsela is an effective tool teachers can use to help bring students closer to reading level and beyond, especially when it is used as an integral part of classroom instruction.” 

Newsela, the leading instructional content platform, empowers teachers to select the best content for their students that is vetted and aligned to standards. Content is published at five reading levels so students can read at their own independent reading level, and once they’re ready, they can level up. 

Key Findings in Newsela’s Research: 

  • In as little as 3 weeks, 7-8th grade at-risk students achieved statistically significant vocabulary gains. 

  • After a 4-week (11.5 instructional hours) summer reading intervention, Newsela usage leads to pronounced gains for Hispanic-identifying students. 

  • Newsela was nearly 70% more effective than the average summer learning program.