NJ Charter School Achieves AYP With Personalized Learning Program

Village Charter School in Trenton, N.J., started the 2010-11 school year with one important goal – to make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) – and turned to Pearson’s SuccessMaker to accelerate learning for its students. When announcing that his students had aced the state assessments and the school had achieved AYP in June 2011, Head of School Leigh Byron gave top credit to SuccessMaker. Citing test results, Byron said the median first-grade score on the TerraNova was the 89th percentile, and the math scores of the fifth-grade cohort went from 33 percent proficient or advanced proficient in 2010 to 72 percent proficient or advanced proficient on the New Jersey state assessment.

“As a superintendent in public schools, headmaster in independent schools, and now as a head of school in a charter school, my experience with SuccessMaker supports what the research demonstrates. It rapidly moves the needle on student test scores in the right direction by adapting to students’ unique learning needs and keeping teachers apprised of their progress,” said Byron. “And SuccessMaker’s dynamic environment keeps students engaged and having fun – serious fun – while they are learning.”

SuccessMaker from Pearson is a learning system built from the ground up to adapt to the learning needs of each student by analyzing performance, identifying areas requiring remediation or acceleration, and estimating the time necessary for them to reach achievement levels.

Based on 50 years of research, SuccessMaker relies on proprietary mastery algorithms designed to emulate a human tutor who evaluates and responds to the individual instructional needs of each student and provides progress reports to the teacher. The program’s Initial Placement Motion identifies the student’s appropriate level for learning – sufficiently challenging, but not too difficult for the learner to make progress independently. As students complete each activity, SuccessMaker determines whether they have mastered the content based on the probability of their answering the next question correctly, not just on the percentage of correct answers.

Also featured in SuccessMaker is an adaptive tutor model that automatically employs various instructional strategies, such as sequential practice in an area of difficulty, presentation of brief tutorials and review of prerequisite skills, when a student experiences repeated difficulties with new concepts.

A recent research study on SuccessMaker Reading, conducted by Gatti Evaluation, Inc., revealed that elementary and middle school students learning with SuccessMaker outperformed their peers relying on print materials on a nationally recognized assessment of reading skills.