Impact of the Accelerated Reader Technology-Based Literacy Program on Overall Academic Achievement and School Attendance.Report as inadecuate

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A study demonstrated the positive impact of school ownership of the Accelerated Reader (AR) technology-based literacy program on attendance and standardized test scores at a representative sample of 2,500 elementary, middle, and high schools. These schools were compared with approximately 3,500 schools of similar geographic and demographic characteristics that did not own the software. A comparative analysis of data revealed: (1) statistically significant evidence that, on virtually every subject test (including reading, writing, math, science, and social studies), a majority of schools that owned AR performed better than socioeconomically comparable non-AR schools; (2) a statistically significant majority of AR-owning schools also had higher attendance rates than their non-AR peers; (3) gains in academic performance increase with the length of time schools own AR--schools that have owned AR for 2 or more years are 59% more likely to show test performance above the median for their control group; (4) analysis of AR's effectiveness in different metropolitan settings indicates that AR is by far most influential in urban schools and in low socioeconomic environments; and (6) increased performance of AR-owning schools does not vary with the relative availability of microcomputers at those schools, indicating that the effect is not related simply to increased use of technology. Findings suggest that AR has a positive effect on student academic performance, especially for socioeconomically disadvantaged children in urban areas. Together with the results of previous Institute studies, this is compelling evidence that AR is an effective tool in stimulating increased reading, and that increased reading will lead to higher attendance rates and greater academic success. (Includes 18 notes and 6 tables of data.) (Author/SR)

Descriptors: Academic Achievement, Attendance, Computer Software, Educational Technology, Elementary Secondary Education, Instructional Effectiveness, Literacy, Standardized Tests, Student Improvement, Technology Integration

Advantage Learning Systems, Inc., P.O. Box 8036, Wisconsin Rapids, WI 54495-8036 (free to educators).

Author: Paul, Terrance; VanderZee, Darrel; Rue, Tom; Swanson, Scott


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