Reviewed: March 2010
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.
Free or reduced price lunch
| Not Hispanic
Rural, Suburban, Urban
The study took place in 13 schools in three districts in multiple states across the country.
The study sample included 1,037 sixth-grade students (547 PLATO® Achieve Now; 490 control) taught by 39 teachers (21 PLATO® Achieve Now; 18 control) in 13 schools
across three districts in multiple states across the country during the 2004–05 and 2005–06 school years. Of the study sample, approximately 53% were female (52%
PLATO® Achieve Now and 55% control), 74% received free or reduced-price lunch (not reported by intervention status), 42% were Hispanic (not reported by intervention
status), and 40% were African-American (not reported by intervention status). Approximately 80% of the teachers in the study were female (81% PLATO® Achieve Now; 78%
control) with an average of 11 years of teaching experience (9 years PLATO® Achieve Now; 13 years control) and 33% of whom obtained a master’s degree (24% PLATO®
Achieve Now; 44% control).
Students were taught using PLATO® Achieve Now during the 2004–05 and/or 2005–06 school years. PLATO® Achieve Now supplemented standard mathematics instruction
for the treatment group. According to the study authors, PLATO® Achieve Now students used the product for independent practice and reinforcement of math skills. Students
worked at their own pace on activities identified by the teacher. According to the authors, the recommended usage is 30 minutes per day, four days per week, for at least 10
Comparison students were taught in traditional classes, with the teachers utilizing any technology products already available to them.
The primary outcome measures in Year 2 of the study were the Stanford Achievement Test–Tenth Edition (SAT–10), the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS), and the New Mexico
Standards Based Assessment (NMSBA). Districts in this study used at least one of these three exams as the outcome measure to obtain pretest and/or posttest scores. The
study authors converted the scale scores from these tests to normal curve equivalent (NCE) scores with a range of 1 to 99 and an average of 50 to standardize the measures
across tests and cohorts. For a more detailed description of these outcome measures, see Appendix A2.
Support for implementation
Vendor training sessions generally took place in host districts, and sometimes host schools, during the summer or early fall of 2004. The initial training lasted about 6 hours
and varied by product from 4 hours to about 8 hours. Vendors delivered ongoing support in several modes. Product representatives visited teachers; vendors also provided
support through email, telephone help desks, and additional training at schools.
In the case of multiple manuscripts that report on one study, the WWC selects one manuscript as the primary citation and lists other manuscripts that describe the study as additional sources.
Dynarski, M., Agodini, R., Heaviside, S., Novak, T., Carey, N., Campuzano, L., ... Sussex, W. (2007). Effectiveness of reading and mathematics software products: Findings from the first student cohort: Report to Congress. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences.