Pros and Cons
of the
Accelerated Reader Program


 




Pros

  • Generally increases MC circulation
  • Provides reportable data on reading
  • Teacher/school decides on level of adaptation
  • Quiz scores show if the book was read
  • Over 50,000 titles covered with quizzes
  • Parents may be very supportive
  • Authors appreciate the exposure AR provides for their books
  • Reduces teacher involvement with managing reading
  • Provides a consistent reading tool across all grade levels
  • The uniqueness of the AR point/reward program may be exciting to many (especially early) readers
  • Some students may be motivated to read more, or may be given time in the instructional day to read
  • The program encourages the availability of large numbers of diverse titles, and requiring of up to 1 hour of reading per day
  • Provides safeguards against student cheating
  • Technical support for the software is provided by the company
  • Hundreds of testimonials are provided by the company
  • Program states it complies with NCLB guidelines





Cons

  • May limit literature choices
  • May discourage intrinsic value of reading
  • Expensive to start and continue
  • Computer access is essential
  • Questions do not encourage higher order thinking skills
  • Students may be discouraged from reading above or below their “level”
  • Schools may be tempted to use AR points for grades
  • Once begun, the program continues with purchasing quizzes for new acquisitions – may be difficult to discontinue
  • Students may begin reading for point value rather than interest
  • MS may be tempted to use scarce budget allocations to purchase AR quizzes
  • MS may be tempted to rely on AR quiz lists and levels rather than reputable recommendation resources
  • Early readers may not be able to read the quiz questions for themselves, requiring adult supervision or the purchase of the auditory quizzes.
  • Little empirical research to document company claims
  • Prizes/rewards need to be managed if provided
  • Reading may become guided by a commercial venture (big bucks and big profits)