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News Section: Schools and Education

Manatee Community Action Agency Reports Significant Improvements in Test Scores to Its Pre-K Program

Published Monday, May 12, 2014 12:05 am

BRADENTON - The Manatee Community Action Agency recently shared information indicating that test scores for the students in its Pre-K program have improved significantly three years after the program's sites were rated as below-average.


The turnaround comes after the MCAA's voluntary Head Start program adopted a new curriculum following the given dismal ratings. 


The organization reports that the InvestiGator Club's curriculum, which its website says focuses on "ten critical domains of learning, including literacy, math, science, social studies, oral language, and creative arts," translated into strong and fast positive results. 


The change of curriculums was not completely embraced by all at the Pre-K sites before the implementation was made, as advised by MCAA Head Start Director Kathy Patreka in an IGC-published article. "Many of our educators were apprehensive about making the switch. However, once they saw the potential of The InvestiGator Club, teachers were excited to take the whole program to their classroom,” said Patreka.


Olivia Hoff, Account Coordinator for education P.R. firm C. Blohm & Associates, said through email correspondence that teachers involved in the InvestiGator Club's program have "raved about the detailed lesson plans provided, the organization of the curriculum and the additional resources the kit provides. Each one of these things lead to less stress, more engaged students and increased creativity in planning lessons."


In subjects from science to math as well as for oral language development and social-emotional growth categories, the curriculum leans heavily on investigation and inquiry-based activities. on a daily and weekly basis.  


Praise for the curriculum was also given in a 2007 study by the Educational Research Institution of America, which found that test scores post-curriculum change "improved statistically significantly" for the total group of studied students. 


The same finding was reported for students categorized in ethnic minority groups as well as the majority group; for students receiving special services, as well as those categorized as economically disadvantaged.

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