PERC Gets Students College Ready

The Peer Enabled Restructured Classroom (PERC) transforms students who have yet to meet college-ready benchmarks into scholars by placing them in the role of teacher. In our restructured math and science classrooms, Teaching Assistant Scholars (TASs) work under the guidance of a teacher to instruct small groups of their peers. Along the way, the TASs learn the material, become academic role models, and build the skills they need to succeed in college.

Our program helps students, teachers, and administrators achieve the outcomes they want. PERC classrooms still have one teacher for every 30-plus kids. However, inside a PERC classroom there are also four to five TAS, drawn from the population of students who passed the state exams in science or math but have not yet achieved college-ready benchmarks.

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Watch to see how “The PERC Effect” transforms helps create college-ready math and science students

The Results to Date are Impressive

In the first year of PERC model implementation, TASs in the algebra course scored 7.1 points higher on average on the Regents exam than if they had not been a TAS in the course. And TAS in the living environment course scored 9.4 points higher on average on the Regents exam than non-TAS students. The results suggest that TAS students are 2.4 times more likely to be college ready than if they had not participated in the PERC program.

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In the first year of PERC model implementation, TASs in the algebra course scored 7.1 points higher on average on the Regents exam than if they had not been a TAS in the course. And TAS in the living environment course scored 9.4 points higher on average on the Regents exam than non-TAS students. The results suggest that TAS students are 2.4 times more likely to be college ready than if they had not participated in the PERC program.

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PERC Provides a Pipeline to College

The TAS Pipeline combines courses, summer experiences, workshops, and other social activities to build a community of TAS prepared to enter and succeed in college. The primary goal of the Pipeline is to provide a clear set of guidelines for students to ensure that they have fulfilled all of CUNY’s remedial requirements and have some experience with college level work. The Pipeline is built to fill the academic holes so students can advance in higher level courses.

Summer is a critical time for students to take courses that will prepare them for high school graduation without the need for remediation in college. The summer courses are designed to allow students to take part-time or full-time courses depending on summer employment or travel. Additionally, summer courses employ the strategies the TAS have learned in PERC and TAS Class, fostering a collegial atmosphere, dialogue, and grasp of content.

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TAS Pipeline to College

Educators and Administrators Benefit from PERC

The PERC model also has numerous benefits for teachers and administrators. PERC teachers report that they get a lot of enjoyment out of teaching in a PERC classroom because their students are more engaged and the learning is richer and deeper. They also like the support they get from the CUNY team and the feedback from the TAS. And while they report that their classrooms are noisy, they say they are noisy with the students teaching and learning, not being off task.

According to teachers, PERC classrooms have fewer disciplinary problems. School administrators also see PERC’s value. They are excited about the improved performance and their teachers’ higher rates of satisfaction and lower rates of burnout. They say that effort of incorporating the PERC model into their schools is well worth it.

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PERC was funded by a National Science Foundation award to the City University of New York and New York City Department of Education.

National Science Foundation: Where Discoveries Begin