June 20, 2007, Chicago, IL – The U.S. Department of Education What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) released their Character Education Topic Report on the effectiveness of programs from across the country. Of the 41 program´s reviewed, Positive Action was a clear standout.
The WWC topic report sites that the Positive Action program (PA) was able to scientifically prove "strong evidence of Positive Effects" on both behavior and academic achievement in school-aged children. No other program received this rating in either category.
Research has shown that schools using PA have verifiable improvement in standardized test scores for reading, writing, and math, as well as reductions in violence, disciplinary referrals, and drug, alcohol, and tobacco use. The WWC rating validates the Positive Action method of teaching positive thoughts, feelings and actions for the physical, intellectual, social and emotional areas of the whole self. The program, which has offices in Twin Falls, Idaho and Corvallis, Oregon, has been successfully used for over 25 years in more than 15,000 schools and approximately 2,000 community service agencies across the country.
PA Research Results
PA earned its top rating based on two studies: a randomized experimental trail in Hawaii and a high quality matched-control study in a large school district in the southeastern United States. Both research studies evaluated academic progress and behavior in schools using the Positive Action program.
The research was conducted by Dr. Brian Flay, a professor in the Department of Public Health at Oregon State University. Flay´s research compared elementary schools participating in the PA to comparable elementary schools not using the program. Below are the results according to the WWC Improvement Index.
?Standardized Achievement test scores in reading and math: average of +16.5 percentile points
?Grade retention: +36 percentile points
?Suspension rates: average of +19.5 percentile points
?Substance use outcomes: average of +22.25 percentile points
•Violence rates: +18 percentile points
?Absentee rates: +10 percentile points
Carol Gerber Allred, Ph.D., President and Developer of the Positive Action program, believes these results are because the program´s philosophy taps into the intrinsic need all people have to feel good about what they do. Says Allred, "Our program teaches that you feel good about yourself when you think and do positive actions, and there is always a positive way to do everything. Positive Action is a comprehensive character education program that teaches a full range of positive behaviors, creating a safe and encouraging environment. It gives students the skills and motivation to become effective achievers."
What Teachers Are Saying About PA
Educators from participating schools have heralded PA as a program that gives students skills for a lifetime of achievement. Suzee Fujihara, a teacher from Lihikai Elementary in Maui, Hawaii, applauded the effects of Positive Action, noting the program, "gives children strategies to change negative attitudes to positive ones. The children are actually taught how to help themselves, and others, to be positive when negative thoughts and actions are present. Positive Action…makes them more independent in solving their problems and gives them the feeling of power to change their attitudes and actions themselves."
Moreover, the positive effects of the program are enduring. Fujihara continued, "Teaching Positive Action does not end only in the first 15 minutes the lessons is taught ? children learn how to be positive and empathetic to others. What a wonderful world we would have if everyone learned that they should be treat others the way they want to be treated."
History of Recognition
In addition to the WWC rating, PA has earned a place on many prestigious national lists of effective education programs, including: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration/Center for Substance Abuse Prevention´s (SAMHSA/CSAP) National Registry of Evidence-based Programs, Safe and Drug-Free Schools, and Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.
About Positive Action
For nearly 25 years, the Positive Action program has offered K?12 evidence-based character education kits. It has been used in all 50 states, serving approximately 13,000 schools in 2,500 school districts and approximately 2,000 community groups and agencies. The kits contain instructor´s manuals with 15-minute lessons designed to be taught several days a week throughout the school year. The lessons focus on physical, intellectual, social, and emotional positive behaviors.