Common Core Standards for English LanguageSAT reading scores in 2011 were the lowest on record. This is the second time in the past two decades that reading scores have fallen as much in a single year.

It is well known that middle and high school students are reading less at home and rarely write letters anymore. Could greater use of technology strengthen reading and writing instruction in schools and raise SAT scores? We think so.

Merit Software is successfully used in many schools at the late elementary, secondary, and college prep levels. Rigorous research has been conducted on Merit as a supplement to everyday instruction. The evidence shows it increases standardized test scores without directly teaching to the test.

Merit reading and writing software prepares students for post-high-school work and provides personal remedial activities for students who need extra help.

Teachers have observed that students who write a well-considered persuasive essay with Merit’s Essay Punch and ace eighth-grade-level comprehension and academic vocabulary questions in Merit’s Reading Skill Builder are well on the way to being able to handle college material.

Plus, as Merit has expanded its web-based offerings, teachers are able to benefit from even greater levels of reliability and support from our staff. Application hosting and student enrollments are now handled by Merit. Schools no longer need an IT person to set up their use of the software. They can also gradually phase in use of the programs with just a few students or classes at a time.

More students took the SAT in 2011 than ever before. Bob Wise, the president of the Alliance for Excellent Education and a former governor of West Virginia, says the increase in the number of students taking the SAT is a positive sign.

However, the results clearly show the need for a lot more work in K-12 schools. “The workforce needs and skill needs in our society are rising, unfortunately, much faster than our SAT or ACT scores,” Wise said.

By using Merit Software’s reading and writing instructional products in schools, along with Merit’s top-notch training and professional development support, educators can help students improve their college readiness.

classroom technology, college preparation, increasing student achievement, standards based curriculum
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Join the conversation! 1 Comment

  1. I am a high school English teacher who scored 800 on my verbal SATs in 1964. I assure you, I am not a genius.

    How did this happen? As the daughter of an American businessman stationed overseas between 1954 and 1977, I was raised in countries that had no TV (Singapore and Jamaica.) From 1965-1969, I attended a girls’ boarding school in Virginia where we were not allowed to watch TV except for an hour each weekend night.

    Like all my friends, I grew up reading constantly – there was nothing else to do. I strongly believe reading and writing are the keys to higher SAT scores, but I am also cynical about students’ ever devoting the kind of time to actual reading that my friends and I did when we were”deprived” of TV… and the Internet… and video games, and other electronic distractions. The amount of time spent by students NOT reading, but doing other, non-literary things, is prodigious.

    In addition, fewer and fewer parents read to their children when they are young. Fewer and fewer parents seem to be readers themselves; they don’t read, and they don’t encourage their children to read.

    We are raising a nation of increasingly illiterate citizens. The SAT scores reflect that.

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