Newsela Beta delivers leveled, nonfiction texts that build literacy skills

Lauren Williams's picture
Monday, July 8, 2013

Newsela launched on Monday to provide teachers with an intuitive and engaging way to help their students gain the reading and critical thinking skills they will need to be successful in college and real life.

U.S. literacy is in crisis. Research shows the reading required in college and the workplace has grown more demanding in its complexity. But the complexity bar for grade-school reading has dropped. Kids are simply not being prepared for college-level work–and not just in English classes, but in any class that requires reading, including science courses. Half of all students who enter college fail to graduate on time, often because they can’t make sense of their coursework.

Newsela helps students climb the staircase of reading complexity from elementary through high school by providing daily news articles written at five levels of difficulty. Newsela adapts to each student's reading ability so they always get just-right content while having the power to stretch themselves. Articles are paired with quizzes aligned to the new Common Core State Standards so teachers can track their students' progress on a daily basis.

The Common Core demands schools pivot from a focus on fiction to nonfiction. Teachers who have stayed up late hunting down and manually leveling their own texts know that there's a shortage of appropriate nonfiction reading material at their disposal. Newsela will spare them those late nights by providing articles appropriate for their entire class, from advanced readers to English-language learners and special education students.

"Every teacher I know struggles with classrooms full of kids at dramatically different reading abilities," said Matthew Gross, Founder & CEO of Whipsmart. "We built Newsela for them." By reading Newsela, students not only get experience reading more rigorous texts, they gain a wealth of background knowledge about the topics covered by current events including law, public policy, geopolitics, science and nature.

"We are responsible not only for teaching our subject areas as they were but also teaching the events of the world as they unfold around us," said sixth grade teacher Danielle Giusto Maqsood,who uses Newsela with her students daily. "It has been very exciting to hear our scholars make connections to world news they read on Newsela during class discussion."

Pricing and Availability

Newsela Beta is available for free to teachers, schools, parents or anyone who wants to learn to read better. Register now for unlimited access to articles and quizzes.

About the Company

Whipsmart Learning is an education technology startup dedicated to transforming the way learners access the world through words. The founding team members combine powerful technological know-how with real-world experience earned in the boardroom, the classroom and the newsroom.

For more information visit newsela.com.