PGCPS implemented Speak Agent in 1,600 middle grades math classrooms and found a 10.3% gain in math scores for students who completed 10 activities in Speak Agent. They also saw a 17-point increase on the WIDA ACCESS overall scale score for their multilingual learners in math.
Secret #1: Create a Coalition
PGCPS took a cross-departmental team approach to tackling the challenge of math language and communication. The Math, ESOL, and Title I departments met regularly to articulate the challenge and jointly crafted a solution. They developed a Math Literacy Strategy first, before engaging with partners such as Speak Agent.
Secret #2: Plan Together for Success
PGCPS engaged us as a strategic partner on a multi-year journey toward a clear goal. Together, we crafted a half-year pilot at four carefully selected middle schools; evaluated results with principals, teachers, and students; and jointly made adjustments before scaling. We grew implementation step by step from an initial 2,000 students to more than 27,000 over two years.
Secret #3: Integrate with Instructional Guidance
The Math Department at PGCPS understood that their teachers were overburdened. Therefore, they integrated Speak Agent into day-by-day guidance for lesson planning. We'd already mapped our lessons to the PGCPS curriculum, so they simply plugged each activity into their pacing calendar. This made it a cinch for teachers to see where Speak Agent fit. Here's a sample:
Secret #4: Use Data to Drive Decisions
At every step in scaling, PGCPS reviewed the efficacy and engagement data. Early on, we asked third-party researcher Leanlab Education to analyze progress data from nearly 7,000 students. They found a strong correlation between activity in Speak Agent and learning new math concepts. The Math and ESOL departments also observed classroom activity directly.
Secret #5: Listen to Student Voices
PGCPS wanted to track three key questions: Are our students engaged with this new platform? Does it help them learn? Do they prefer Speak Agent to other tools or activities? These data are not seen as one-time answers, but are built into regular data monitoring. Check out the charts below. These findings are a key driver of the district's scaling decisions and strategy.