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SuccessMaker and SuccessMaker Enterprise

Company: Pearson Learning
Assessment: Yes
Instruction: Yes
Grades: K-8
Subject: Math, Reading, Science, Social Studies
Delivery: Local server
Successmaker is a collection of courseware for schools or districts. Administrators would decide which materials they would like to license. A server is installed on the local school or district network and then is accessed via a web-browser. While it has some of the properties of being a differentiated product, it lacks a powerful diagnostic assessment embedded into its core system. Thus, students will take placement tests. Teachers can monitor and have the ability to adjust student's instructional levels. Furthermore, the courseware is a collection of materials that a teacher would assign to students. In a sense it is a more generalized instructional system that spans more subjects, i.e. science and math. But it doesn't cover reading and basic math as well as Let's Go Learn's Unique Reader and Unique Math since they are built upon DORA and DOMA, two diagnostic assessments.
Click to view SuccessMaker and DORA Detailed Comparison Table

  1. Richard Capone
    Reply 01/28/13
    This is a great question. Because DORA is a multiple sub-test assessment, we test oral vocabulary and comprehension separately. In our comprehension sub-test we focus on comprehension strategies and try not to overly bias students who may have low vocabulary because we already test that in another measure. The results have been amazing. Many of our urban districts have found that especially among secondary students many are low on "state reading" scores because of low vocabulary. See the linked graph. More and more we're finding huge groups of students who are designated as low readers in state tests or other simple reading leveling assessments. But these students actually have at-grade or higher comprehension strategies meaning they can read long passages, with long sentences, and attain mastery through our comprehension questions which are 50% inferential and 50% factual. Plus we don't allow look back which inflates comprehension scores. Graph:
  2. Janice Funich
    Reply 01/28/13
    I question how you are measuring comprehension if a student is weak in vocabulary but strong in comprehension. How is that possible? With weak vocabulary skills the student might be strong in literal comprehension but not inferential which is much more meaninful measure of comprehension. All the research revolves around vocabulary being the bridge to literacy and what these students need is academic vocabulary imbedded in reading exercises to develop the deeper understanding as measured by CCSS. I know my administrators are evaluating several programs for next year- I am only a front line evaluator- no decision power.
  3. Richard Capone
    Reply 01/28/13
    Janice, thank you for your comment. You are right our review of SuccessMaker is more than a few years old. We need to revise it. I did just take a moment to look at SuccessMaker, and I can see DORA and ADAM being complimentary under an RtI deployment where our assessments would determine which students should use SuccessMaker and which should use other curriculum. Remember our assessments profile students first and foremost. I would argue that for some students’ profiles, you wouldn't want them to use SuccessMaker instruction. For instance, we see lots of middle school students in urban districts being strong in comprehension and decoding but weak in vocabulary only. For these students, the Lexile based placement test used by SuccessMaker would probably mis-diagnose them as low readers. What they need is language immersion. I will talk to you offline.
  4. Janice Funich
    Reply 01/28/13
    I think you might want to update your review as we offer SuccessMaker in the hosted format (no server) and the initial placement is the most powerful diagnostic tool I have seen to place each student on their individual level by strand of learning. We can also create a custom course based on CA state standards or Common Core standards with a few clicks of the mouse. My district is evaluating Let's GoLearn and I'm open to learning about it but skeptical as your evaluation of SuccessMaker is not accurate.

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