Every Student Succeeds Act and ESSA IV Validation for Merge EDU
LearnPlatform by Instructure, a third-party educational research company, worked with Merge to develop a well-defined logic model and research plan for Merge EDU.
The four tiers of evidence spelled out in ESSA — “strong,” “moderate,” “promising,” and “demonstrates a rationale” — have quickly become important to district leaders, to ensure the tools they’re providing for students are backed by research.
To determine Merge EDU’s evidence rating, LearnPlatform by Instructure used an ESSA Validation Rubric with five factors derived from ESSA (regulatory and non-regulatory guidance), What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) standards, Standards for Excellence in Education Research (SEER), and Education Department General Administrative Regulations (EDGAR): sample, methodology, baseline equivalence, implementation and findings, and other. Two trained reviewers independently applied the rubric to the ESSA Level IV report and there was excellent agreement between raters (Cohen’s Kappa = 1.00). The completed rubric for the logic model accompanies this letter, alongside a certificate, a summary of ESSA alignment, and recommended next steps.
After a systematic review, LearnPlatform by Instructure concluded that the evidence surrounding Merge EDU meets Level IV “Demonstrates a Rationale.” Specifically, the intervention has a well-defined logic model, based on research.
In conclusion, this study satisfies ESSA evidence requirements for Level IV:
Detailed logic model informed by previous, high-quality research
Study planning and design is currently underway for an ESSA Level III study