|Title:||Efficacy Study of a Pre-Algebra Supplemental Program in Rural Mississippi Schools|
|Principal Investigator:||Clark, Tedra||Awardee:||Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL)|
|Program:||Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education [Program Details]|
|Award Period:||4 years (3/1/2012-2/29/2016)||Award Amount:||$1,878,435|
|Type:||Efficacy and Replication||Award Number:||R305A120045|
Purpose: In some states, rural students continue to lag significantly behind their non-rural peers in mathematics achievement. A strong correlate of the mathematics achievement gap between rural and non-rural students is the availability for opportunities to learn. Providing supplemental learning activities can help improve the mathematics achievement of rural students by providing students with additional opportunities to learn the content. This study will evaluate the efficacy of a supplemental mathematics curriculum, Every Day Counts Algebra Readiness (EDC Algebra Readiness), in Mississippi, a state with a sizable number of rural schools and the largest gap in achievement on the eighth-grade algebra scale of the National Assessment of Educational Progress.
Project Activities: The researchers will evaluate the efficacy of a supplemental middle school mathematics curriculum, Every Day Counts Algebra Readiness (EDC Algebra Readiness), on the algebra readiness of grade 7 students and the Algebra I achievement of these same students in grades 8 and 9 in rural schools in Mississippi. Forty middle schools will be randomly assigned to use the EDC Algebra Readiness supplemental mathematics curriculum or to continue to implement their business-as-usual mathematics curriculum and instructional practices. Data focusing on students' pre-algebra mathematics achievement will be collected, along with students' later achievement in algebra.
Products: The products of this project include information on the efficacy of the EDC Algebra Readiness curriculum for improving mathematics outcomes in rural students, and peer-reviewed publications.
Setting: The setting for this study includes rural middle schools in Mississippi.
Sample: The sample will include e 7th grade students from 40 rural middle schools in Mississippi , as defined by the National Center for Education Statistics Common Core of Data.
Intervention: The EDC Algebra Readiness program is a widely used supplemental mathematics program that has not yet been rigorously evaluated. The program consists of an interactive bulletin board containing several visual models around which teachers conduct whole-class activities for 10-15 minutes per day. Teachers use the visual models to lead students in consistent, incremental daily practice designed to help them express conceptual thinking about mathematics and to understand critical algebra readiness concepts and skills. EDC Algebra Readiness focuses on the following topics: fractions, decimals, and percents; integers; number patterns; algebraic representation with variables, expressions, equations, and graphing; geometry; measurement; and data and probability with problem solving and discussion.
Research Design and Methods: Participating schools will be randomly assigned to either the treatment or control condition. Grade 7 teachers in schools assigned to the treatment condition will use the EDC Algebra Readiness curriculum throughout the school year to provide students with an additional 10-15 minutes of daily mathematics instruction to supplement their typical mathematics curriculum. Teachers in the treatment condition will receive a 2-day summer professional development workshop to help teachers learn to use the curriculum as designed, and teachers will also participate in monthly online professional development sessions. To measure fidelity of implementation, observations in both treatment and control schools will take place five times per school year, with every school receiving at least one observation per quarter. In addition to observations, teachers will also complete online self-report implementation logs five times per year. Both treatment and control students will be followed up at grades 8 and 9 to obtain the results of their Algebra I end-of-course test.
Control Condition: Schools in the control condition will continue to implement their business-as-usual mathematics curriculum and instructional practices.
Key Measures: The key measures in the study include the Algebra Readiness Assessment, the Iowa Algebra Aptitude Test, and the Mississippi Algebra I Subject Area Test.
Data Analytic Strategy: Two-level hierarchical linear modeling (HLM), with students nested within schools, will be used to analyze the impact of the EDC Algebra Readiness program on student algebra readiness and Algebra I achievement. Mathematics scores from the 6th grade Mississippi Curriculum Test will be used as a pretest covariate at the student and school levels. The HLM analysis will be used to estimate the impact of EDC Algebra Readiness on all three mathematics outcomes—the researcher developed Algebra Readiness Assessment, the Iowa Algebra Aptitude Test, and the Mississippi Algebra I Subject Area test.