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Our Story

Our Promise Is to You, the Educator

Starting in 2005, our research team received competitive funding from the US Department of Education to build knowledge about and improve educational assessments. FastBridge Learning® is how we disseminate that work.

The FastBridge Learning system was developed to reduce the typical 10 to 30-year gap between research at universities and results in the classroom, to months or weeks. We innovate today and implement tomorrow.

In 2010, Dr. Zoheb Borbora and Dr. Ted Christ conceptualized and created the Formative Assessment System for Teachers™ as a cloud-based academic assessment system at the University of Minnesota. Our goal was to use research and technology to make it easier for teachers to collect and use data to improve student outcomes.

We initially tried to create and distribute the FastBridge assessments for free. That model was unsustainable. We learned from the school leadership and teachers that were our partners preferred an excellent low-cost system over a good free system. With support from the University of Minnesota, a fee-based assessment distribution system was launched in early 2012.

The demand for FastBridge was tremendous and overwhelming and the demand quickly outpaced what we could support through a University-based system. So, FastBridge Learning, LLC was launched in spring 2015 to distribute and support FAST assessments. Since that time, additional assessment tools have been added to the FastBridge suite to include assessments for student behavior, early childhood development, and the classroom environment.

FastBridge Learning, LLC partners with Dr. Theodore J. Christ and other university-based researchers. Dr. Christ founded FastBridge Learning, LLC and continues as part of Theodore J. Christ and Colleagues, LLC to author many FAST assessments. In 2017–18, FastBridge assessments were used in more than 40 states, which included a statewide adoption in Iowa (92% of schools).

FastBridge users exceeded 20 million administrations in 2017–18. The feedback has been tremendous.

In 2019, FastBridge Learning became an independent subsidiary of Illuminate Education.  FAST™ provides the core assessment capabilities for the Illuminate Education Intelligence Platform (EIP), which helps educators quickly make data-informed decisions to improve student achievement.

The powerful set of modules in the EIP enables standards-based formative assessment, data visualization, RtI/MTSS support, reporting, and analysis. Illuminate Education supports over 12 million students and 2,000 districts in all 50 states.

In partnership, we continue to strive for our vision: Research to Results.

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