TAKS scores rise with interactive learning

Fourth and fifth graders in Grand Prairie, Texas, are improving their reading and math skills after using an interactive learning system called Time To Know, as evidenced by their competency scores on the most recent Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) exam.

Grand Prairie Independent School District implemented Time To Know in 2009, and it's seen academic performance increase along with decreased student absences and fewer discipline issues.

“We are very impressed with our Time To Know students’ test results. They clearly demonstrate the academic benefits of the Time To Know solution,” said Linda Ellis, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning at Grand Prairie schools. “Equally as important is the change in attitude we’ve seen. Students are more motivated and engaged in the learning process, and we’ve seen a significant decrease in discipline problems and absenteeism.”

According to evaluative research conducted by Grand Prairie and Time To Know, students using Time To Know’s Digital Teaching Platform outperformed students from the non-Time To Know (control) classes on the 2011 TAKS exam. Control classrooms were selected by Grand Prairie leaders based on similar student and teacher characteristics and baseline 2010 TAKS scores.

Detailed findings for Time To Know students compared to the control group include:--TAKS math scores were 17.2 percent higher for fourth graders and 10.1 percent higher for fifth graders
--TAKS reading scores were 8.5 percent higher for fourth graders and 13.1 percent higher for fifth graders

In addition to TAKS score improvements, the study showed that use of Time To Know’s Digital Teaching Platform reduced unexcused absences by 85.8 percent and reduced discipline incidents by 47 percent. Time To Know has been particularly successful in improving the academic performance of minority students.

Time To Know is a teacher-led, online curriculum system that features a Digital Teaching Platform designed for one-to-one computing classrooms, offering interactive multimedia lessons and individualized instruction.

Grand Prairie administrators and teachers reported improved student motivation, an increase in differentiated learning, and better critical thinking skills among the Time To Know students.

“Time To Know is what this generation needs,” said Kathryn Wiggs, fourth grade math teacher at Whitt Elementary School. “In my 25 years of teaching, I’ve never seen such discussions and interest. Kids are putting serious thought into the steps to solve problems.”

Grand Prairie Independent School District is located 15 miles from Dallas and has 25 elementary schools. The district educates more than 26,000 students and serves a diverse population, with 63.1 percent Hispanic students, 17.6 percent black students, 15.1 percent white students, 3.7 percent Asian students, and 0.5 percent American Indian students.

The research study was conducted during the 2010-11 school year and included:
--March 2010 TAKS scores to serve as benchmarks
--Attendance and discipline records provided by Grand Prairie
--Teacher and student surveys in September and May
--Classroom observations in November and May
--Teacher and student interviews in November and May
--March 2011 TAKS results