Reading deficiencies can have a significant negative impact on a student’s ability to learn effectively. Students who can read at or above grade level by grade three are much more likely to graduate high school on time and subsequently attend college than their counterparts who read below grade level. The sooner students can read at grade level, the better. Utah is a member of the pilot program UPSTART, currently in its fourth year of the five-year program. The goal of UPSTART is to increase the reading, math, and science skills of pre-school students in order to better prepare them for kindergarten. The program combines computer-based curriculum with user support in order to best meet the needs of each individual child.
The investment that Illinois has made in preschool over the past 23 years has not only prepared children for success in school, it also produced up to $530 million in annual savings and revenue to the State. A 2011 study by the Wilder Foundation examined an Illinois program serving 90,000 3-5 year olds and found it generated an estimated $353-to-$530 million in combined cost savings and annual revenue over 23 years, including up to $40 million in savings for K-12 schools, $259 million in reduced government spending and increased tax revenues, $231 million in reduced social costs and $72 million in increased wages and tax revenues from high school graduates in the labor force.
Chase, R., Diaz, J., & Volorose, J. (2011, May). Cost savings analysis of school readiness in Illinois. Prepared for the Ounce of Prevention Fund, Illinois Action for Children, and Voices for Illinois Children. St. Paul, MN: Wilder Research, pp. 1–3.
DLA Proposed Solution
Online platforms to increase the reading, math, and science skills of pre-school students in order to better prepare them for kindergarten. The adaptive, in-home program combines computer-based curriculum with user support in order to best meet the needs of each individual child. Pre- and post-tests assess the skills attainment of students, and the self-paced curriculum needs only 15 minutes per day to be effective.
Funded by the state of Utah, the pilot program currently has more than five thousand participants. Other programs are being implemented nationally with quality return on education. For UPSTART specifically, results include:
- Pre-K students are scoring at the Kindergarten level or within First Grade levels. This is regardless of ethnicity, socioeconomic status, geographic locale, and whether or not the children had additional preschool.
- 99.6% of participants and parents would recommend program to friends and family
- 99.8% felt the program adequately prepared their child for kindergarten
UPSTART provides preschool-age children (the year before they enter kindergarten) with an individualized reading, math, and science curriculum, with a focus on reading instruction.
DLA Pre-K Initiative Template
Click on the documents below the company logos to view presentations of their solutions
Imagine Learning: Innovative, Individualized Literacy Instruction.
Additional Issues Under Review
Digital Learning Alliance has identified several additional issues. As we add member companies who have a solution that serves the issue, we will update our information. Those additional areas under review include:
- Social Studies
- Dual Immersion
- Special Needs
- Remedial Education
- Graduation Rates
- Student Debt Burden
- Employment Opportunities
- Economic Growth Modeling
Spanning Every Educational Level
- Assessment and Accountability
- Student Information Systems
- Online Learning, 24/7/365
- Broadband Connectivity
- Special Education
Click any issue below for the details of the current DLA National Legislative Platform
- Math Improvements K-12
- STEM Shortages
- Dropout Prevention and Recovery
- College Readiness
- Cost of Higher Education
- Student Records
- Blended Learning Management Systems
- Workforce Alignment and SLDS (State Longitudinal Data Systems)
- English Language Learners
- Literacy Improvements K-12
- Bullying, Violence and Safety
- Professional Development
- Parent Engagement
- Student Data and Privacy