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Positive Action a Stand Out on WWC Topic Report

For Immediate Release: June 8, 2007

Updated May 9, 2008

U.S. Department of Education What Works Clearinghouse

The U.S. Department of Education What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) released their Character Education Topic Report on the effectiveness of 41 character education programs across the country.

Positive Action was a standout.

Positive Action was able to scientifically prove its program has “strong evidence of positive effects” on behavior and academic achievement. No other program received this top rating in either category.

Research has shown that schools using PA have verifiable improvement on standardized test scores for reading, writing, and math, as well as reductions in violence, disciplinary referrals, and drug, alcohol, and tobacco use.

Out of 267 programs reviewed for Character Education, Elementary Reading, and Elementary Math, only thirteen programs made the WWC list. In the "academic achievement scores" category, Elementary Reading had only one program with "positive effects" and the Elementary Math had none. Character Education had one program, Positive Action, with "positive effects" in academics and behavior. Positive Action is not an academic program but it improves academics. Clearly, something esle is at work.

The WWC rating validates the Positive Action method of teaching positive thoughts, actions, and feelings and for the physical, intellectual, social and emotional areas of the whole self.

WWC's chart of effectiveness ratings for Character Education programs in three domains

Of all the character education programs reviewed, Positive Action was the only one to show positive effects in both the behavior domain and academic achievement.

PA Research Results

Positve Action 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 PA.

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 (see page 4).