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An evaluation of the Chess Challenge Program of ASAP/After School Activities Partnerships. Philadelphia, PA: After School Activities Partnerships.

In this 2009 report, DuCette examined the impact of an after-school chess program on Pennsylvania students’ math and reading achievement, as measured by the state standardized assessment, Pennsylvania System of School Achievement (PSSA). The sample was comprised of 151 treatment and 151 control students in grades 3-8. Treatment students, who self-selected into the Chess Challenge Program, were matched by the School District of Philadelphia with students from the same school, grade, gender, and race/ethnicity. Using a two-way ANOVA to measure differences in PSSA scale scores, the author found an effect size of 0.348 standard deviation units in math and 0.249 units in reading. The findings were statistically significant. The study was eligible for inclusion in the systematic literature review and categorized as a Tier II study. The study used a quasi-experimental matching process to compare students in the treatment and control group, but the matching process did not match students on prior test scores, which is needed to confirm that the two groups of students were academically equivalent prior to the intervention.