Is CommonLit research-based?

CommonLit is proven to be an effective, engaging, research-based reading program.

Research behind CommonLit


Research on CommonLit

CommonLit was the result of a research study conducted at Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2014 by founder and CEO, Michelle Brown. Since then, research has remained a cornerstone of the organization, and CommonLit has received multiple research grants to devote to ongoing rigorous evaluation research. Partnerships with external evaluators, such as Consortium for Policy Research in Education (CPRE) at Columbia University and Learn Platform, help to ensure the quality of CommonLit’s research agenda. A few key findings, outlined below, speak to the effectiveness of the CommonLit program. 

For the most up-to-date information on CommonLit effectiveness, please visit the Impact page.

CommonLit Digital (CLD)

360 Curriculum 

  • Of the various studies that have been conducted on the effectiveness of the CommonLit 360 Curriculum, a study of CommonLit 360 in NYC schools illustrates the reading achievement results of middle schools students in New York City. The results showed statistically significant gains in reading achievement across all grades. Fidelity to the program was a predictor of better outcomes, with demographic subgroups showing improvement on par with their peers. Additional studies have been conducted in rural settings and nationwide, further demonstrating the relationship between CommonLit 360 use and student reading growth. 

CommonLit Español (CLE)

A Spring 2023 study of teachers who participated in professional development on CommonLit Lecciones Guiadas (Guided Lessons) found that: 

  • Students of teachers participating in professional development on the use of Lecciones Guiadas outgrew students in the comparison group.
  • Teachers reported that completing the Lecciones Guiadas increased students’ reading comprehension and students’ self-efficacy for reading.
  • Teachers reported that Lecciones Guiadas increased student motivation and engagement.


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