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Regional Educational Laboratory Program


Access to Algebra I: The Effects of Online Mathematics for Grade 8 Students

Region:
Northeast & Islands
Description:

This report presents findings from a randomized control trial designed to inform the decisions of policymakers who are considering using online courses to provide access to Algebra I in grade 8. It focuses on students judged by their schools to be ready to take Algebra I in grade 8 but who attend schools that do not offer the course. The study tested the impact of offering an online Algebra I course on students' algebra achievement at the end of grade 8 and their subsequent likelihood of participating in an advanced mathematics course sequence in high school.

The results indicate that offering Algebra I as an online course to Algebra Ready (AR) students is an effective way to broaden access in schools that do not typically offer Algebra I in grade 8. Taking this course significantly affected students' algebra achievement at the end of grade 8 and increased their likelihood of participating in an advanced coursetaking sequence in high school. The course had no discernible side effects on AR students' general mathematics achievement at the end of grade 8 or any negative effects on N–AR students' measured outcomes.

Publication Type:
NCEE/REL Evaluation Report
Online Availability:
Publication Date:
December 2011
Contact: