Research on Merit School Improvement Software Published in Peer-Reviewed Academic Journal

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"At-risk" students demonstrate clear gains on high-stakes tests with Merit reading and writing software.

Students using Merit Software reading and writing programs significantly improved their scores on high-stakes standardized tests, according to the results of a recent study published in the June 2006 issue of The Journal of Computer Assisted Learning.

The study, conducted by a research team at Marshall University, examined the impact of Merit literacy software on students at Calhoun County Middle School in Mount Zion, West Virginia, and Grandview Elementary School in Charleston, West Virginia. The study confirmed that the software improved student test scores on three variables of the WESTEST, a criterion-referenced state test for reading and language arts, science, and social science proficiency.

The largest test score gains were made by low-achieving students -- below the reading and language arts competency level expected by state guidelines. These students were considered struggling readers and "at-risk." However, they demonstrated clear academic gains after nine weeks of the Merit software treatment. This finding indicates that Merit Software can be used effectively as an intervention by schools and school districts that need to measurably improve the test scores of their struggling students.

This study titled, "Making the cut: the impact of an integrated learning system on low achieving middle school students," follows and extends a previous study, which evaluated the effect of Merit's reading and writing software on middle school students. The first study is published in the Journal of Research in Technology in Education, Winter 2004-2005.

The results of this second study show long term gains for low-achieving students and confirm the outcome of the previous study, that Merit Software is a remarkably useful educational tool for teachers and administrators facing the demands of high-stakes testing with limited resources.

For more information regarding this study, visit http://www.meritsoftware.com/merit_calhoun_update.pdf

For more information on Merit Software and their entire line of educational software, plus full purchasing details, please visit http://www.meritsoftware.com/.

ABOUT THE JOURNAL OF COMPUTER ASSISTED LEARNING: Published by Blackwell Publishing, The Journal of Computer Assisted Learning is an international peer-reviewed journal, which covers information and communication technology that support learning and knowledge exchange.

ABOUT MERIT SOFTWARE: Merit Software (http://www.meritsoftware.com/) is an experienced publisher of educational software. Since 1983, Merit Software has focused on the core competencies for grades 3-12 and adult education. Merit Software is currently being used in thousands of educational facilities.

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Ben Weintraub
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