UTHealth To Partner With Amira Learning On Next Generation Early Literacy Assessment

The new partnership enables Amira to administer the TPRI assessment to K-3 students

March 21, 2019

Amira Learning, the company re-inventing learning to read with artificial intelligence (AI), announced a partnership with The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) to deliver a next generation early literacy assessment to schools across the world.  The TPRI, created by faculty at UTHealth and the University of Houston and licensed by UTHealth to Amira, is recognized as one of the most reliable and valid early literacy assessments. Amira will deliver the test online as a digital application, creating the first fully automated AI Curriculum Based Measurement (CBM) solution.  

Amira, an AI Reading Assistant, is the first intelligent avatar able to listen to students read aloud, assess their mastery and deliver personalized coaching.  The new partnership enables Amira to administer the TPRI assessment to K-3 students, providing a fully automated and highly reliable gauge of Oral Reading Fluency (ORF).

 “The combination of Amira and TPRI creates the next generation of early literacy assessment”, said Mark Angel, CEO of Amira.  “Now, school districts have the best of all worlds – a test that is scored consistently, a process that doesn’t drain away instructional time using a psychometrically reliable assessment.”  Because the TPRI has had proven use for two decades, Amira will now have the ability to assess ORF across the school year with norms and benchmarks  built from thousands of student observations.

The TPRI test was originally created with support from the Texas Education Agency in 1999.  TPRI gained a national presence and has been a widely used assessment in American schools.   The assessment supports fall screening, benchmark testing in the fall/winter/spring periods, regular progress monitoring, and dyslexia screening.  The assessment encompasses English and Spanish versions.

“We are pleased to be working with Amira using their new cutting-edge AI platform with the highly regarded TPRI reading assessment program”, said Dr. Bruce Butler, Vice President for Research and Technology at UTHealth. ”We look forward to the opportunity this opens for teachers in classrooms throughout the US and worldwide”.

Amira Assessment using TPRI will be available for the 2019-2020 school year.  Today, teachers spend more than 40 hours every school year delivering oral reading fluency tests and even more time manually producing running records.  Amira completely automates both tasks, saving teachers time and delivering consistent and comprehensive data to school districts.

Amira Assessment is offered and supported by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the world’s leading learning company.

About Amira Learning

Amira Learning is re-inventing learning to read with AI.  Amira is the first interactive avatar able to assess, read along with and coach developmental readers and is led by the former senior technical managers at Renaissance Learning, the leader in Reading Assessment and Practice software in K-12 classrooms. In field research conducted by leading Universities, Amira has demonstrated the ability to help children grow as much as giving each child their own certified human tutor.  For a personalized demo of Amira, email info@amiralearning.com.

About UTHealth

Established in 1972 by The University of Texas System Board of Regents, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) is Houston’s Health University and Texas’ resource for health care education, innovation, scientific discovery and excellence in patient care. The most comprehensive academic health center in the UT System and the U.S. Gulf Coast region, UTHealth is home to Jane and Robert Cizik School of Nursing, John P. and Kathrine G. McGovern Medical School, and schools of biomedical informatics, biomedical sciences, dentistry, and public health. UTHealth includes UTHealth Harris County Psychiatric Center, as well as the growing clinical practices UT Physicians, UT Dentists, and UT Health Services. The university’s primary teaching hospitals are Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital, and Harris Health Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital. For more information, visit www.uth.edu.

Media Contact

If you would like more information about this topic, please email Mark Angel at mark.angel@amiralearning.com 

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