The Diocese conducted a study to establish how the 24® game, when made part of the curriculum on a daily basis over an entire school year, would improve standardized test scores. The study has three tiers; classroom, school and district-wide.
Schools Within the Diocese of Erie, Pennsylvania,
Improved Standardized Test Scores by Using the 24® Game as
Part of the Math Curriculum
The Diocese conducted a study to establish how the 24 game, when
made part of the curriculum on a daily basis over an entire school
year, would improve standardized test scores. The study focused on
- Classroom - A second grade classroom
with a low composite test score was selected to determine the
efficacy of the 24 Add/Subtract Primer game.
- School - A rural school, with
traditionally low test scores and myriad problems that stifled the
learning process, was chosen to see if declining test scores would
- District - A majority of schools
throughout the district participated to determine if standardized
test scores would improve districtwide.
Improving Test Scores at the Classroom Level
Second grade class at Holy Family School, Erie, Pa.
A second grade classroom at Holy Family School was selected for
the study. The class began the year with a composite score of 38
percentile points in computation on the I.O.W.A. Test of Basic
Skills. All 19 students in the class received
individual 24 Primer games (Add/Subtract edition) for use
in school and at home.
The students received one hour per week of classroom instruction
using the 24Primer game. They did homework using
the 24 game four nights per week, aimed at mastering
skills. Each student had to teach parents and three adults how to
play the game, and document at-home play.
The year end (1994) I.O.W.A. Test scores improved significantly
when compared with the beginning year (1993) scores. Seventeen of
the 19 students increased their individual computation scores
between 2 and 41 percentile points. The class composite score rose
from the 38th percentile to the 71st percentile.
Improving Test Scores at the School Level
St. Boniface School, Kersey, Pa.
St. Boniface is a small rural school in Elk County, Pa. Test
evaluations showed that students were not working up to their
ability level. Even gifted students, who usually excel in any
environment, were exhibiting declining standardized test scores.
Teachers were plagued with low morale. Students exhibited a virtual
lack of enthusiasm for learning. Ineffective communication between
faculty and students was the norm. These conditions resulted in
classroom composite scores as low as 3 percentile points.
To involve the entire school, a schoolwide enrichment model
(designed by Dr. Joseph Renzulli, University of Connecticut) was
used. The 24 game was the tool used to help improve low
math scores at all grade levels. At the foundation of the Primer to
Platinum project was the entire range of 24 games. One
unique aspect of the 24 games is that they cover a broad
area of math skills. Learning these skills on a gradient allows
students to enter, and become engaged in mathematics, according to
their ability level.
Students and faculty, as well as parents, met once a week for
45-60 minutes. Students selected the activity level that could
challenge them, and yet put success within their grasp. Each
student's progress was visually charted on ladders of success.
"Once students mastered one level, they were eager to compete at
the next," said Joan Pfaff, enrichment coordinator for the six
Catholic elementary schools in Elk County.
A series of incentives were provided to recognize student
achievement; including certificates, inclusion in
the 24 Hall of Fame, coverage by local news media, and
acknowledgment at monthly assemblies. After using
the 24 game as part of the curriculum for one year,
students, teachers and parents labeled the program a resounding
The fifth grade computation score of 3 percentile points at the
beginning of the year increased to 66 percentile points at the end
of the study. The sixth grade composite jumped from 26 percentile
points to 91. The seventh grade composite score went from 47 to 95
percentile points. The program not only accomplished the goal of
raising test scores, it engendered a sense of pride and
accomplishment among the faculty and student body.
Improving Test Scores at the District Level
Diocese of Erie, Pa.
The Erie Diocese encompasses 10,000 square miles, 13 counties
and student populations from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. To
improve the math computation scores the diocese incorporated
the 24 game into the math curriculum. The study involved
3,000 students, in grades 4, 5 and 6, during the 1993/1994 school
year. The 24 game was introduced into 111 classrooms.
Participating classrooms used the game for 5 to 10 minutes each
day. The goal was to generate excitement for the process of
learning math, and reinforce basic math skills with students
districtwide. Across the diocese, math computation scores increased
in 73 of the 111 classrooms. While significant, perhaps even more
noteworthy is that nine classrooms improved over 40 percentile
points; and 48 classrooms increased more than 10 percentile
An unexpected result of the study was that of the 73 classrooms
that improved in computation scores, 92 percent improved in the
other tested areas: math concepts and problem solving. Across the
diocese, the 24 game added excitement and challenge to
the math curriculum; it encouraged kids to be problem solvers; and
fostered a spirit of cooperation.
The three-tiered study in the Erie Diocese documents the success
in using the 24 game to improve math proficiency, not
only at the classroom and schoolwide level, but districtwide.
Michael Casserly, executive director, Council of the Great City
Schools, says, "The Council's goal is to duplicate these results in
our largest urban districts. This achievement would make
significant progress in elevating the math proficiency of all our
nation's students." The Council is a coalition of fifty of the
largest urban school districts in the United States; and National
Education Territory of the 24 Challenge® Math Program.