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Merit Views and Opinions Regarding Education and Technology

Improving Adult Literacy with Technology

According to the Barbara Bush Foundation, which has established a competition challenging teams of developers, educators, engineers, and innovators to create mobile literacy learning applications for adult learners, 36 million U.S. adults lack basic English literacy. Low-literate adults have difficulty with such things as reading over-the-counter medicine labels, completing a job application, opening a bank… Read More »


Preparing Students for High School English

Educators are always interested in learning more about ways to intervene and assist with students. Here at Merit we receive many inquiries about our products from teachers who wish to find new ways to improve learning. A recent message came from a teacher who is working with students in a newly developed general English course… Read More »


Preventing Fadeout in Interventions

“Persistence and Fadeout in the Impacts of Child and Adolescent Interventions,” a new research paper that has gotten a lot of attention in the education press, the authors conclude that when interventions target cognitive skills or behaviors, capacities or beliefs, promising impacts at the end of programs often fade out quickly. On the other hand,… Read More »


Expanding Educational Opportunities for Older Students

Most programs that address the high school dropout issue have focused on dropout prevention or dropout recovery of young people. When an individual passes the dropout recovery age, the age at which state funding for dropout recovery ends (about 16), the high school diploma becomes very difficult to attain. This situation is exacerbated by recent… Read More »


Can The Rise Of College Student Dropout Rates Be Stopped?

Only 55 percent of first-time U.S. college students in 2008 completed a degree in 6 years, according to a recent report by the National Student Clearinghouse. This poor performance impacts not only the future of students but of institutions themselves. Ranking, reputation, and the bottom line can be affected. To stem the dropout rate, many… Read More »


Are K-12 Students Hurt by Computers in Schools?

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) found in a recent world wide study that heavy use of computers in K-12 schools does not necessarily improve student results. In fact, the study found that students who spend above-average amounts of time using computers in class perform worse on written and digital reading tests than… Read More »


Helping Students Adapt to New World Realities

Students need opportunities to succeed in a rapidly changing world. The impact of current turmoil in China on the world economy is only one example of how quickly things can change, and the need to adapt. Deeper learning is a term for skills and knowledge that will help students succeed in the classroom and on… Read More »


Improving Employability and Academic Skills

A recent survey of Kentucky Chamber of Commerce members bemoans the lack of “soft skills” or employability skills among prospective employees. In fact, 27% of employers surveyed report a need for improvement of these skills. Such skills include communication, teamwork, motivation, and the like. Among the reasons students struggle in college and later in the… Read More »


Are Chinese Students Faltering in American Universities?

There have been a number of recent news articles about the changing relationship between Chinese students and American universities. In the past, such students tended to be well-qualified graduate students sponsored by the Chinese government and living on tight budgets. More recently, the resources of a burgeoning Chinese middle class have given parents the ability… Read More »


California’s Acceptance of Common Core State Standards

A recent report issued by Children Now, a national think tank and advocate on children’s issues, states that 93 percent of California voters want schools to teach skills mandated in the Common Core Standards—that is, greater daily use of analysis, critical thinking, and real-world skills. The strong acceptance in California of the Common Core is… Read More »