Six Ways Digital Curriculum Supports ESSA to Close Student Learning Gaps

November 19, 2018

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) that went into effect last year has provided unprecedented opportunities in what accountability means and how it is measured in today’s schools. These changes have required new thinking from leaders at the school, district and state level and is creating new models of teaching and learning. Technology is playing a vital role in driving this vision to reality. ESSA has provided districts with an opportunity to prioritize technology in ways that truly transform teaching and learning while creating a broader vision for how it is used. Implementing effective digital curriculum provides an option for schools and districts to achieve the core objectives outlined in the ESSA legislation while also supporting the unique needs of every student. 

  1. Effective digital curriculum supports learners of varying academic readiness.
    ESSA is committed to providing students, particularly those who may be struggling, with equal opportunities for deeper learning and better outcomes. This includes unlocking success for struggling students who may be below proficient readers, students with learning gaps and English language learners. The key benefit of effective digital curriculum is that it allows educators to meet students where they are academically and prescribe a learning pathway to help them achieve their academic goals. Digital curriculum can offer personalization which is not possible in a traditional classroom setting, and it delivers active, engaging instruction that keeps students motivated to learn. It also can provide formative feedback that offers students a snapshot of where they are on their academic journey to motivate them to take ownership of their learning.
  2. Digital curriculum personalizes learning.
    Today’s students, as well as the ESSA guidelines, are demanding personalized learning, and districts are prioritizing it. Teachers have the flexibility to personalize the learning experience for students who may need additional support and provide an opportunity for those who are accelerating quickly to work ahead, right alongside their peers and within the classroom. Beginning with a strong implementation strategy, quality digital curriculum that supports a variety of proficiency levels, aptitudes and backgrounds, enables all students to achieve to their full potential. Under ESSA, and as more teachers seek out opportunities to support the unique learning needs of their students, we will continue to see personalized learning take hold within the classroom.   
  3. Digital curriculum expands educational opportunities and improves student outcomes.
    The trend toward increased use of technology and personalized learning continues due to the need to accelerate and deepen learning for all students under ESSA. A rigorous digital curriculum that expands options to students with varied learner styles can lead to increased graduation rates, decreased dropout rates, improved exam scores, and improved college and work readiness.
  4. Digital curriculum prepares students for life after high school.
    ESSA was established to fully prepare all students for success in college and career. However, diplomas aren’t always proof that students are really ready for the next step. By providing students with more opportunities for learning, educators give them a greater chance to confidently and successfully navigate transitions and challenges in their futures. Rigorous, standards-based digital curriculum can prepare all students for the next level of learning through the development of key readiness skills: critical thinking, self-directed learning and a growth mindset—to name a few.
  5. Digital curriculum provides reporting and accountability.
    Increased accountability and a data-driven approach is a priority under ESSA, making these two factors a continued focus for today’s educational leaders. Effective digital curriculum combines student performance data with industry-leading reporting tools that enable students to be self-directed learners and empower educators to provide individualized learning. A quality curriculum, powered by access to technology, ensures districts have the insight they need to drive quantifiable student results.
  6. Digital curriculum must be standards-based.
    With the passage of ESSA, standards have officially shifted to states and districts. Effective digital curriculum that is developed specifically for standards, not just aligned to them, is critical to achieving increased student learning. Digital curriculum continues to expand access to quality education, making it possible for classroom teachers to meet each student where he or she is and offer personalized learning based on individual student needs. The result is higher achievement for all students.


How Apex Learning Can Help

Apex Learning digital curriculum is supporting districts nationwide in achieving more success for more students and meeting ESSA requirements. From below proficient readers to English language learners to students with learning gaps, Apex Learning provides curriculum that makes grade-level instruction accessible to struggling students and keeps students on track with immediate remediation. The result is more students at grade level, more students passing high stakes exams and more students graduating on time. To learn more about how we can help your district, visit:

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