The results of the third-party evaluation revealed that Apex Learning Comprehensive Courses increased the learning gains made by students on the ISTEP+ECA. “Overall, students using Apex Learning courses achieved similar academic gains as comparable non-Apex Learning students” (Action Research and Associates, 2013)
To examine the achievement of students who used Apex Learning courses, a third-party evaluator compared (ECA) outcomes of students using Apex Learning courses to a matched comparison group of students who did not use Apex Learning courses.
On average, the pre-test standardized z-scores on their eighth-grade ISTEP reading and math assessments were equivalent for the two groups (Action Research and Associates, 2013). Graph 3 shows the two groups were also equivalent in terms of SES, race/ethnicity, and gender. The study was conducted on student data collected from the 2011-2012 school year.
As shown in Graph 3, the average performance of students using Apex Learning courses and the comparison group on the post-test (ISTEP+ECA), pooled across disciplines.
The results also demonstrate that for those students completing Apex Learning courses for credit recovery, they achieve at the same level as their peers completing courses for initial credit in the traditional classroom. When students are able to work at their own pace, engage in active learning to master a challenging curriculum, and receive targeted support as needed, they are able to master rigorous standards-based curriculum and perform as well as their peers.
 The 8th grade pretest scores were generated by the ISTEP Reading Test and ISTEP Mathematics Test administered between 2007 and 2011. For both assessments, the range of standardized scores for tests administered in 2007-2008 was not the same as the range of scores in 2009-2011. In order to make the pretest scores comparable across years, z-scores were computed.