An examination of the relationship of Accelerated Reader implementation, secondary reading programs, and TAKS reading pass rates for ninth grade students in selected Central Texas school districts.
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Williamson, Amy M.
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Accelerated Reader (AR) is a reading management program designed by Advantage Learning Systems, Inc. to increase students’ reading motivation and to increase reading comprehension skills. The AR program is based on the premise that students will take a test to determine their reading level, read books on their designated level, and then take quizzes on the books they have read. Students are awarded points for good quiz grades and may then cash in points for rewards. This research studied ten ninth grade student populations of 175 or less. Five of the schools in the study implemented the AR program, and five did not. Schools that used the AR program were closely matched with schools that did not use AR based on ninth grade student population, demographics, and socioeconomic status. Ninth grade Reading TAKS pass rates were compared between schools using AR and those who did not. A Wilcoxon Rank Sum test indicated that the AR program did not make a difference in Reading TAKS scores. Campus representatives from each of the ten schools chosen for the study were interviewed about the school’s ninth grade reading program. Questions were asked about additional reading instruction for struggling readers, content area reading emphasis, English classroom reading strategies, and incentives for extra reading. No specific strategy or program emerged as key in raising reading achievement on the Reading TAKS test.