Outpacing the Competition
in Proficiency Growth

Based on state assessment proficiency rates, 8th grade students at schools using StrongMind in both California and Arizona saw significantly greater increases in student proficiency rates after one year of implementing StrongMind’s English Language Arts and Math curriculum, compared to students at schools using another online provider.



In fall 2017, StrongMind launched new digital courses for 8th grade English Language Arts and Math. We used Backward Design, also called Understanding by Design, to create these new, fully-digital courses. Using this method, we began with the end in mind by identifying the desired outcome—student mastery of state standards tested at the end of 8th grade for ELA and math—and we used it to drive course planning and development. We deconstructed the standards to determine the skills, knowledge, and Depth of Knowledge (DOK) required. Next we created targeted formative, summative, and performance-based assessments around the standards. Finally, we designed the instruction and learning activities.


The end result? Courses that:

  • Develop the skills, knowledge, and critical thinking required by the standards and achievement beyond school
  • Provide the scaffolds and supports to make rigor work for all students
  • Support a new type of classroom where flipping, blending, experimenting, personalizing and iterating are the norm

Discover how StrongMind is moving learning forward using innovative thinking.

Request a Demo
California stats
Arizona stats


Arizona Department of Education. (2018). AzMERIT Report, Phoenix Arizona.
Retrieved from http://www.azed.gov/accountability-research/data/.
California Department of Education. (2018). California Assessment of Student
Performance and Progress (CAASP): Smarter Balanced Test Results.
Retrieved from https://caaspp.cde.ca.gov/sb2018/Search?lstTestYear=2018.