Schools Using Classworks to Prepare for State Tests Report Significant Test Score Gains

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Schools that use Classworks® comprehensive K-12 instructional software from Curriculum Advantage report that the targeted, standards-based instruction has a positive impact on how students score on state tests.

Classworks helps us identify student weaknesses and address those issues prior to the FCAT

With the stakes higher than ever before, schools are exploring a variety of approaches to prepare for state-mandated tests. One solution showing clear results is instructional software that individualizes learning for every student. For example, schools that use Classworks® http://www.classworks.com comprehensive K-12 instructional software from Curriculum Advantage http://www.curriculumadvantage.com report that the targeted, standards-based instruction is an important factor in achieving success on state tests.

Susie Dasher Elementary and the Georgia Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT)

Susie Dasher Elementary (SDE) is a rural K-1 school in Dublin, Ga. At this Title I Distinguished School, all students work on Classworks http://www.classworks.com in reading, language arts and math. Since implementing the software during the 2006-07 school year, students' scores on the CRCT have steadily increased. From 2006-07 to 2007-08, the percentage of first graders meeting or exceeding the state standard in English language arts jumped from 88.5 to 93 percent. In reading, it rose from 92 to 95 percent. In math, it increased from 91.2 to 94 percent.

"We attribute a large part of our success to Classworks," said Principal Fred Williams, Ed.D. "Classworks appeals to different learning styles and skill levels, and is aligned to the Georgia Performance Standards, which allows us to tie learning directly to particular standards."

To help students prepare for the CRCT, administered in April, students receive individualized instruction in Classworks http://www.classworks.com throughout the school year. Teachers also use Classworks daily for whole class and small group instruction. In addition, SDE conducts benchmark testing three times a year and uses the results to create customized learning paths in Classworks to help students strengthen specific skills. Then, in February and March, the school holds a "CRCT Night" every Tuesday to provide students with additional opportunities to receive targeted instruction.

SDE also uses the instructional software to provide more intensive support to struggling learners during morning study groups and Saturday school. Two weeks prior to the CRCT, these students come to school an hour early for a "CRCT Blitz" to work with teachers on whole-group lessons and individualized activities in Classworks.

DeLaura Middle School and the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test
At DeLaura Middle School (DMS) in Satellite Beach, Fla., teachers use the Sunshine State edition of Classworks. Several years ago, the suburban school implemented Classworks to increase performance for the lowest-performing students and improve its overall standing in the Florida school rankings.

Students who score at Level 1 or Level 2 on the FCAT Reading or Math are assigned to remediation classes, visiting the Classworks lab one day a week throughout the school year. Classworks reads the school's FCAT results and uses these scores to automatically create individualized learning paths for each student. DMS also creates its own lessons in Classworks, targeted to grade level expectations and the needs of particular students. Teachers use Classworks reporting to see how each student is progressing throughout the year.

In 2008, the gains were especially apparent with the lowest quartile of students. Within this group, 71 percent made learning gains in reading, compared to 61 percent district-wide. In math, 85 percent made learning gains, compared to 68 percent district-wide. In addition, the school climbed to eighth in the state rankings, up from 13th in 2007 and 46th in 2006.

"Classworks helps us identify student weaknesses and address those issues prior to the FCAT," said Valerie MacDowell, a technology specialist at DMS. "It allows us to see exactly where students are falling short of grade level expectations and deliver individualized interventions. Another benefit is that Classworks removes the student from classroom lecture environment and places them in an interactive setting that appeals to many different learning styles."

About Curriculum Advantage
Curriculum Advantage Inc. (http://www.curriculumadvantage.com) is the developer of the award-winning Classworks® system of K-12 reading and mathematics instruction and learning tools. Available as a web-based or networked solution, Classworks' activities are correlated to national and state learning standards and state tests, and include prescriptive and summative assessment, remediation and reporting tools. Classworks Language Learner Series addresses English as Second Language learning with content that focuses on auditory, visual and tactile/kinesthetic components.

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Leslie Eicher
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