Merit Views and Opinions Regarding Education and Technology

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 »


Affordable ACT Preparation

A rural HS wants to provide ACT help for all 11th serves students with a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds. The school is seeking to utilize existing technology resources to help students prepare for the English and Reading portions of the exam. In previous years, a teacher provided ACT test prep outside of the classroom.… Read More »


Why Standardized Testing Advocates Are Wrong

Use of digital, adaptive learning programs such as those produced by Merit reduce the need for annual standardized testing in core subjects, particularly English Language Arts, in U.S. public schools. The programs’ built-in tracking and feedback provide useful formative assessments for teachers, parents, and administrators. It is easy to compare the results of users of… Read More »


New Enhancements to Punch Writing Programs

Merit is pleased to announce new enhancements to its Punch process writing programs including Paragraph Punch, Open Punch, and Essay Punch. Students who have completed a written work may now edit it by logging into their Online Portfolios. The Post Published Editing tool allows users to see the current state of their work, review past… Read More »


It’s Time to Level the Playing Field So More Students Can Compete Academically

While students respond positively to teachers who set high academic expectations, teachers often fail to set these expectations for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. A report from the Center for American Progress entitled “The Power of the Pygmalion Effect” indicates that teacher expectations strongly predict college completion. Data suggest that more needs to be done to… Read More »


The High Price of Colleges’ Failures

Recent college graduates who are struggling to start careers are being hurt by their lack of learning, according to Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa, authors of the groundbreaking book, “Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses.” In the original study, the authors had a sample of four-year undergraduates take the Collegiate Learning Assessment during their… Read More »


Merit’s New UI Changes

Merit is pleased to announce the recent rollout of several user interface changes to its online learning platform. Among the changes are: a flexible design, based on the dimensions of the users screen display; larger font sizes; and crisper, clearer buttons. The new look may be seen by trying any full-working demo from a Merit… Read More »


How to Capitalize on the New SAT

In 2016, the SAT exams will be modified from their present longstanding format. Because of these changes, conventional test preparation will be less valuable to test takers. Relevant words, the meanings of which depend on how they are used in context, will be emphasized, and fewer, if any, obscure vocabulary words will be included. In… Read More »