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What is the Accelerated Reader program?

The topic was cause of tensions at Monday's CCISD school board meeting
Posted at 8:50 PM, Feb 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-26 21:59:09-05

Accelerated Reader -- a program used by kids today, and more than likely, their parents, when they were in school.

"One thing I would like to say about AR is I always feel like it's a tool to teach kids to love to read and learn to love to read," said CCISD School Board President Janie Bell.

A student finds a book that fits their reading level and then they take a short test online.

"It helps teachers have a gauge of how well the students understand what they are reading, and they are somewhat held accountable for reading and staying on track with that reading," said CCISD Chief of Staff Kimberly James.

Students in grades K through eighth use the AR program.

"Where is that student progressing where should they be performing, and what level book should be matched to that student," James said.

District officials said AR scores translate into higher state test scores.

"A tool among other tools to stimulate reading," said CCISD School Board Asst. Secretary Alice Upshaw Hawkins.

At Monday's school board meeting, numbers showed a drop in student's performance in reading when comparing a mock test taken this year to last year's STAAR test.

For example, if fifth graders took the reading portion of the STAAR test right now -- only 73 percent would pass. And only 69 percent of third-graders would pass.