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    Re: Accelerated reader

    Wouldn't it be funny for someone to walk into a doctor's office
    explaining to HIM or HER what their diagnosis is and what medicine
    they will be prescribing? time.On 4/08/10, middle school parent
    > With all due respect, "Ima Teacher," you say you are a "Certified
    > Trainer," but please acknowledge you are not an official corporate
    > spokesperson for Renaissance Learning Company who could speak
    > about its intent. Your comments are your own opinions.
    > You state that Renaissance Learning was designed as "an incentive-
    > based program." However, in the Parent's Guide to AR Ren. Learn.
    > simply states, "AR is a computer program that helps teachers
    > manage and monitor children's independent reading practice."
    > That's all, no more, no less -- nothing about "incentives" (are we
    > talking personal goals here, or material rewards?) and grades.
    > AR is quiz software sold for a fee and then an annual per-student
    > subscription charge. The company sells the quizzes to schools,
    > then essentially lets the schools do what they want with the
    > results. Ren. Learn. is a private, for-profit company selling a
    > product.
    > The incentives, rewards, parties, and grading aspect is created
    > and attached to AR by each school after it buys and uses the quiz
    > database.
    > Yes, AR offers a few caveats about grading and competition for
    > points, but from what I've seen it shows little concern when
    > parents (and yes, teachers and librarians) raise questions about
    > how a school may be misusing AR and how that misuse may actually
    > be harming students' reading motivation.
    > In its guideline section, "Accelerated Reader and Grades," (p. 22
    > of "Getting Results ..", available online at the
    > company states, "We do not recommend giving grades for reading
    > practice; however, we do know that many schools, especially high
    > schools, choose to do so." The passage goes on to say, "If you
    > must give grades for AR work, we encourage you to follow these
    > guidelines..." Not exactly a ringing endorsement of using grades,
    > is it? Well, you shouldn't do it, but we know you will...
    > In the same document, on page 9, under "Potential Problems with
    > Points," the company explicitly discourages turning AR into a
    > competition, in which schools recognize students who earn the most
    > points ("Since only a few students 'win,' those who feel they can
    > never win give up."). How many schools take that one seriously,
    > either?
    > Sadly, Renaissance Learning basically acknowledges there is a
    > problem with the way many schools use AR, but there's nothing the
    > company will do about it except "discourage" turning AR into a
    > competition for "incentives" (aka bribes) and "encourage" schools
    > to adopt its guidelines if they "must" grade AR.
    > Students (and taxpayers in districts that buy AR) pay the price
    > for this nonsense.
    > Lastly, I'd expect teachers here to understand and encourage
    > questions and concerns. Impatience and defensiveness help no one.
    > On 4/07/10, Ima Teacher wrote:
    >> I do not know how to say it any more plainly that I have
    >> already said it . . . twice on this thread and God knows how
    >> many times on other threads.
    >> They designed the program as an incentive-based program.
    >> Therefore, they did not design it to be graded. They still
    >> believe that the program runs best that way.
    >> However, they also know that secondary schools do not and
    >> cannot run incentive-based programs most of the time because of
    >> the difference between elementary and secondary education in
    >> general. So, the company developed acceptable practices for
    >> grading.
    >> That's as clear as I can get.
    >> I know I seem snippy, too, but you have no idea how many times
    >> people with little to no training come here and ask a question
    >> and then tell us (several on here who ARE trained and/or
    >> trainers) that we are wrong. Nobody likes to be told how to do
    >> their job by people who are not trained in their field, but for
    >> some reason people feel that this is fine to do to teachers.
    >> On 4/07/10, A Parent wrote:
    >>> I'm not getting snippy sweetie, I'm asking a question and
    >>> trying to learn as well. So you are saying that the AR
    >>> program does say they do not recommend to grade. The
    >>> double negative you posted is a little confusing. I'm
    >>> just trying to get it straight exactly what you are
    >>> saying. Because I read it as them saying they do not
    >>> recommend grading practice reading... thats what ar is
    >>> correct? (not meaning that snippy, but genuine)
    >>> I'm not trying to blast you nor do I hate the program, it
    >>> just seems alot of teachers use it other than how it was
    >>> intended.
    >>> On 4/06/10, Ima Teacher wrote:
    >>>> That's what I said.
    >>>> They designed it as an incentive-based program.
    >>>> However, they realize that many secondary schools must
    >>>> grade if they are going to use the program.
    >>>> And they give guidelines for assigning grades.
    >>>> They do not say "absolutely do not use this as a
    >>>> grade".
    >>>> I know you can grade it. I'm not only a longtime user
    >>>> of both incentives- based and grades-based programs,
    >>>> but I also became a certified trainer so I could train
    >>>> those within my school (and other schools) to use the
    >>>> program the best way possible.
    >>>> There is no need to get snippy with me. You can hate
    >>>> the program all you want. However, if you ask
    >>>> questions, there is no need to get pissy when you don't
    >>>> get the answer you want.
    >>>> I originally started posting because I wanted to help
    >>>> teachers and parents better understand the program and
    >>>> fix errors. What do I get instead? I get grief from
    >>>> people who ask questions and don't like the answers
    >>>> they get.
    >>>> On 4/06/10, A Parent wrote:
    >>>>> This came from page 22 from the "getting results
    >>>>> with accelerated reader" document from renlearn.
    >>>>> So they dont state that it should not be graded huh?
    >>>>> Well what is that saying then?
    >>>>> Accelerated Reader and Grades We do not recommend
    >>>>> giving grades for reading practice; however, we do
    >>>>> know many schools, especially high schools, choose to
    >>>>> do so.
    >>>>> On 4/05/10, Ima Teacher wrote:
    >>>>>> They don't state that it should not be graded. They
    >>>>>> don't say that at all.
    >>>>>> They designed the original program to be an
    >>>>>> incentive-based program. However, they have
    >>>>>> realized that many schools, especially secondary
    >>>>>> schools, MUST have a way to translate into grades
    >>>>>> if they want to use the program. So, the company
    >>>>>> released guidelines for using the program with
    >>>>>> grading.
    >>>>>> On 4/01/10, A Parent wrote:
    >>>>>>> Why does the makers of the AR program state that
    >>>>>>> the AR program should not be graded?