ST. LOUIS, MO, November 1, 2006 — As little as one extra hour of computer-assisted instruction a week can raise students’ math scores.

This was the conclusion of the study performed Dr. John Ash, Ph.D., titled “The Effects of Computer-Assisted Instruction on Middle School Mathematics Achievement,” in which he examined whether students accessing one hour of additional instruction on a computer each week, specifically using Orchard Software, would increase academic achievement.

From August 2004 to October 2004, Dr. Ash compared two groups of Tennessee students from Christiana Middle School: one group of students receiving the extra computer instruction and one group of students receiving no additional instruction. Using both a pretest and a posttest to measure academic achievement, Dr. Ash determined that the students using Orchard Software produced a higher level of achievement than those who received classroom instruction alone. (For a copy Dr. Ash’s full study, go to
Dr. Ash’s study offers hope to schools that have turned to computers to address student weaknesses. “A great amount of resources has been invested in the addition of computers and other types of technology to classrooms. The research in this study offers promise and suggests that this investment was well spent,” wrote Dr. Ash in his study. “Computer-assisted instruction offers differentiated education that is easy to plan and implement. It offers opportunities for remediation and reinforcement of concepts and ideas.”

Bellevue Middle School in Nashville, TN, is one example of a school currently using software to support and differentiate math instruction. Bellevue, too, has implemented Orchard Software into its curriculum in the hopes of raising students’ test scores.

In conjunction with the National Middle School Association’s 2006 Conference taking place at the Opryland Hotel and Convention Center Nov. 2-4, Bellevue Middle School is opening its doors for registered attendees to learn firsthand about its best practices. From 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 2, educators signed up for the tour will be able to observe and interact with Bellevue teachers using technology to deliver engaging work that is designed for a diverse student population. NMSA attendees may also learn more about Orchard Software during the conference by visiting booth 826 or going to

Orchard Software provides standards-based assessments and automatic targeted assignments. With more than 150 Skill Trees covering over 3,000 concepts, Orchard’s assessments are designed to ensure that students are working on the specific skills they need to master in order to meet challenging academic standards as well as each school district’s learning objectives.

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