about us

Amira is a web-based, AI-powered teacher’s assistant for K-3 literacy.  It is the first intelligent reading tutor backed by neuroscience that can listen to developing readers as they read.  Amira helps students and teachers in three ways:  (1) it automates oral reading fluency assessment and screening for dyslexia (saving teachers 100+ hours per year and providing an efficient assessment of reading abilities), (2) it provides real-time reading tutoring for K-3 students (delivering over 20 different reading science-backed micro-interventions as a student reads), and (3) it generates deep insights for teachers, parents, and others (including automating running records).  A few highlights about Amira:    

Developed over the last 20 years by a team at Carnegie Mellon University (Project Listen) as a collaboration between computer science and reading science experts, applying to reading tutoring the same AI technology behind self-driving cars.  Amira has also licensed an ORF assessment from University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, and built R&D partnerships with other universities and researchers across the country.

Field testing and independent research from leading universities through Project Listen at CMU has shown significant efficacy across a wide variety of student populations, with impact for general education students using the intelligent reading tutor on-par with trained, certified human tutors (effect size of 0.6) and even higher impact for ELL students (effect size of 0.9).

Amira piloted with schools in 15 districts across 5 states, including IDEA Public Schools, NYCDOE, Stockton USD, Evergreen Elementary School District, Rutherford County (TN), Rocketship Public Schools, Chime Charter, and more (35.2% Hispanic, 12.9% Black, 6.3% Asian).  The assessment is now available through a distribution partnership with HMH.

Led by a seasoned team -- our co-founders are the former CTO and head of R&D at Renaissance Learning (Mark Angel and Pete Jungwirth).

Named one of the 2019 SXSW EDU Launch Competition finalists and "Best of Show 2019" at ISTE.

Amira was awarded a grant from the NewSchools Venture Fund to help tailor the Amira reading tutor to strengthen students' social emotional learning mindsets, habits and skills (e.g., how to adapt Amira's interactions with students at the beginning, middle and end of a reading session to strengthen their growth mindset, sense of belonging, and self-efficacy around learning to read, on the way toward becoming a motivated, masterful reader?).  They are pursuing other grant opportunities to advance its AI platform, improve efficacy with specific sub-populations and to support access for students who might benefit most from using Amira.

our solution

is a web-based avatar that listens to kids as they read, identifies oral reading errors, provides real-time tutoring backed by neuroscience, and generates data to guide instruction.

Amira Learning

sector
K-12 Education
headquarters
San Francisco
founded in
2017
http://amiralearning.com
meet the team

Adam

Porsch

Chief Strategy Officer & Chief Financial Officer

Adam Porsch is the Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Financial Officer at Amira Learning, the first Intelligent Tutoring System able to listen to children as they read, identify oral reading errors, and provide real-time tutoring to help students learn to read.  Prior to Amira, Adam worked at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, D.C. Public Schools, and US Department of Education.  Adam lives in Seattle, WA and has two young children who are learning to read.

Mark

Angel

Co-Founder

Amira is Mark's third start up.  He previously was the CTO at Renaissance Learning.   Over a long career building software, he has been the chief inventor on a lot of patents, lead large teams at large companies and helped build software used by millions of kids and tens of millions of users.

Futurebound Acceleration Lab Cohort

The Cohort will be presenting their ideas at the Futurebound Summit Showcase, November 13.

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